Procedures

Skin Cancer Removal

Skin cancer is diagnosed by removing all or part of the growth and examining its cells under a microscope. It can be treated by a number of methods, depending on the type of cancer, its stage of growth, and its location on your body. Most skin cancers are removed surgically, by a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist. If the cancer is small, the procedure can be done quickly and easily, in an outpatient facility or the physician's office, using local anesthesia. The procedure may be a simple excision, which usually leaves a barely visible scar. Or curettage and desiccation may be performed. In this procedure the cancer is scraped out with a special instrument and the area is treated with an electric current to control bleeding. This leaves a slightly larger, white scar. In either case, the risks of the surgery are low.

If the cancer is large, however, or if it has spread to the lymph glands or elsewhere in the body, major surgery may be required. Other possible treatments for skin cancer include cryosurgery (freezing the cancer cells), radiation therapy (using x-rays), topical chemotherapy (anti-cancer drugs applied to the skin) and Mohs surgery, a procedure in which the cancer is shaved off one layer at a time.

You should discuss these choices thoroughly with you doctor before beginning treatment. Find out which options are available to you... how effective they are likely be for your type of cancer... possible side effects and risks... who can best perform them... and the aesthetic and functional results you expect.

Spider Vein Treatment

If you sometimes avoid showing your legs because you have spider veins-those small clusters of red, blue or purple veins that appear on the thighs, calves and ankles-you are not alone. It's estimated that at least half of the adult female population is bothered by this common cosmetic problem. Spider veins may also appear on the face, where they can make an otherwise good complexion appear blotchy or uneven.

If you would like to eliminate your spider veins and improve your appearance, your plastic surgeon can help. Today there are very effective, safe and relatively painless methods available for eradication of spider veins on the legs and face. The legs may be treated with sclerotherapy, a procedure in which the veins are injected with a sclerosing solution, causing them to collapse and fade from view. Spider veins on the face-which are not really veins at all, but blood vessel malformations-are usually treated with laser therapy.