Skin Cancer Tests
Testing and evaluation is a critical part of skin cancer treatment. One of the key treatments in skin cancer is Mohs surgery. Dr. Tri H. Nguyen is a board certified dermatologist and is also fellowship trained in Mohs surgery. Dr. Nguyen and his team provide skin cancer testing and treatments to patients in Houston, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands, Texas, and surrounding communities.
Pathology and Surgery
Both pathology and surgery place a fundamental part in the treatment of skin cancer. The Mohs surgeon will integrate the role of a pathologist and surgeon in order to accurately track and remove all the tumor roots under the microscope.
At the same time, the surgeon will try to preserve as much as healthy skin as possible. An expert in dermatology and Mohs surgery will try to ensure that all the margins are clear of cancer in order to mitigate the risks of recurrence.
Mohs Surgery Procedure
Once the tests have confirmed the precise skin cancer site, Dr. Nguyen will begin the procedure. Local anesthetic injection will be administered to numb the targeted area. Dr. Nguyen will remove a thin layer of tissue around and below the area of skin cancer. This step will be performed quickly in a few minutes, and a temporary dressing will be placed. The patient may eat or drink at any time.
In the second part of the procedure, the cancer tissue will be prepared onto slides and Dr. Nguyen will examine the slides microscopically to detect remaining traces of cancer. This step requires careful effort and may take about 30 to 60 minutes for meticulous and thorough evaluation of all the margins.
If more cancerous cells are detected, the surgeon will remove another tissue layer but only where the cancer roots are present. This will be done to preserve healthy skin as far as possible. Local anesthesia will be applied at each step to keep the patient comfortable.
The entire process is repeated until the skin tissue is free of skin cancer. Once it is completed, Dr. Nguyen will discuss the wound healing options with the patient. Repairs are usually performed on the same day, and the patient may be required to follow restricted activity for at least a week. Mohs surgery to clear the cancer is the most crucial part of the procedure, and the second part is repairing the wound for proper healing.
Indications for Mohs Surgery
Mohs surgery may not be necessary for all skin cancers. Many can be treated with destruction techniques such as scraping, freezing and lasers, excision with wider safety margins, and even dermatology creams. Mohs surgery may be the best treatment option when the skin cancer has the following characteristics:
- Recurrent (tumors have re-grown after previous treatment)
- On the head and neck area
- On the fingers or toes
- Large sized tumor
- Poorly defined (lesion blends into skin without clear borders)
- High risk or destructive based biopsy
For more information on procedures and treatments offered at Texas Surgical Dermatology PA please call 832.663.6566 or click here to contact our dermatologists. Helping patients in Houston, The Woodlands, Springs, Katy and other surrounding areas of T