Curettage is a minimally invasive technique involving scraping away layers of the cancerous lesion using a circular or oval-shaped instrument known as a curette. The patient receives local anesthesia before the procedure to minimize any discomfort.
This procedure is usually performed in non-sensitive locations on the body where some mild scarring is acceptable. It is typically effective on superficial cancerous and non-cancerous lesions.
The wound is usually cauterized after the impacted area is scraped. This increases the possibility of a successful procedure as well as minimizes bleeding. Board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness provides skin cancer treatments to patients in Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and surrounding locations.
When to Choose Curettage?
Curettage procedure is usually effective on small, superficial basal and squamous cell carcinomas that have sharp outlines. This treatment is typically performed on the trunk of the body and other regions where the scars caused by this procedure are tolerable.
Curettage may be an ideal choice for a patient who cannot bear more invasive surgery. This treatment is highly effective with a good success rate in curing certain types of skin cancers. It is also an efficient and cost-effective procedure.
No General Anesthesia, No Sutures
A local anesthetic is used to numb the treatment area. Subsequently, a curette is used to scrape away the abnormal cells in the region. Short bursts of electrical current are used to cauterize tissue through a process known as desiccation. The wound is usually left to heal without using sutures.
How to Prepare for the Treatment
Prior to the procedure, the dermatologist will assess the patient’s health history and conduct a physical examination. This time will also appropriate for the physician and patient to discuss the possible risks and benefits from the treatment as well as develop expectations from the procedure. Patients should inform the dermatologist about the over the counter and prescription medications that they are currently using.
What Should I Expect Before and During the Procedure?
The procedure is rapid and can be performed in-office. The patient is administered a numbing medication (local anesthesia). Therefore, they will not feel any pain or discomfort during the treatment. The physician may scrape and burn the treatment area up to three times.
The patient may notice an unpleasant odor when they wound is cauterized. The physician will likely cover the wound using a bandage. The patient will receive post-procedure instructions to care for the wound.
What to Expect After the Procedure
The recovery time is typically minimal, and several patients can drive themselves home after the treatment. The wounds usually take many weeks to heal. The patients are provided guidelines on bandaging and cleansing the wound to enhance the healing process.
How Effective is the Treatment
The curettage procedure for skin cancer has a cure rate of almost 99 out of 100 for basal cell cancer which is less than 1 cm (.04 inches) wide. The cure rate is around 84 out of 100 for cancer that is larger than 2 cm (0.8 inches) wide. This procedure is very successful in treating new skin cancers. It is less effective on recurring skin cancer where there is scar tissue development.
Curettage has similar risk associated with it as any other skin cancer treatment. If a highly skilled dermatologist performs this procedure, these risks are minimized. Board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness receives patients from Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and other neighborhoods and communities in this part of the US for skin cancer treatments.
If you would like to learn more about procedures and treatments at Metro East Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center by Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Jamie L. McGinness please contact us here or call (618) 622-SKIN (7546)
Taking new patients in and around the greater St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois area: East St. Louis Missouri, Shiloh Illinois, Belleville, Millstadt, Saint Clair County, Madison County and more.