Taking Better Care Of Your Skin

Five Types Of Surgery That A Skin Cancer Diagnosis Could Possibly Involve

A diagnosis of skin cancer can be alarming, but patients need to realize that many types of skin cancer are easily treated with surgery. Relatively minor surgical procedures can often completely eradicate a cancerous skin growth. 

Often, skin cancer surgery doesn't even require general anesthesia and can be performed in an outpatient procedure involving only local anesthesia. 

If you're undergoing surgery to treat a skin cancer diagnosis, you may want to be aware of the fact that the following are the five types of surgery most commonly associated with a skin cancer diagnosis. 


Cryosurgery is a popular trend in surgical treatments of skin cancer. It involves treating a skin cancer with liquid nitrogen that is manipulated to both freeze and destroy any cancerous growths in a patient's skin.

Although this type of surgery may result in some swelling and possible scarring, it is a fairly minor procedure that is more commonly used on pre-cancerous lesions than full blown skin cancers. 

Removal or only biopsy of a lymph node

In the event of a skin cancer diagnosis, it may be necessary to perform a lymph node biopsy on the affected patient.

One of the first places in the body to which a cancer typically spreads is the lymph nodes. Skin cancer that spreads will reach the sentinel lymph nodes first. If a biopsy shows that skin cancer has spread to these lymph nodes, a surgical lymph node removal may be necessary.

Excision surgery

When an excision surgery is performed, a growth is cut off of the body using a scalpel. These procedures generally require only local anesthesia and are performed on an outpatient basis. While an excision surgery may leave a slight scar, the surgery is not extensive and should not take a great deal of time to be performed.

Laser surgical procedures

Laser surgery can be used to destroy cancer cells in the skin so that they cannot grow and spread. Laser surgery can be highly effective at curing minor skin cancers, but they are only used to treat superficially located cancers.

Mohs surgery

Mohs surgery has come to prominence in recent years. It is a method of skin cancer surgery that involves removing cancerous tissue layer by layer until healthy tissue is reached.

It's common to opt for Mohs surgery when a cancer is located on highly visible areas of the body like the head, neck, and hands. This surgical procedure offers the benefits of very minimal scarring.