What is Surgical Dermatology?

Surgical dermatology is a dermatology subspecialty that treats skin issues through surgical procedures. These surgical procedures may target the uppermost skin layers or involve the underlying muscle or fat layers depending on the extensiveness of the condition being treated.

Dermatologic surgeons perform skin surgeries routinely. These specialized doctors receive advanced training in particular areas of surgical dermatology such as excisional surgery, Mohs surgery, and reconstructive procedures.

Accomplished board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness provides surgical dermatology treatments to patients in Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and other towns and suburbs in this area of the interior part of the country.


Conditions Treated with Surgical Dermatology

Various types of dermatologic surgical procedures are available to patients. The dermatologist may choose to treat conditions on the skin’s surface in different ways, depending on the type of problem.

They may trim or snip growths off using a surgical scissor or scalpel, or they could eliminate them with a liquid nitrogen cold spray or a unique light beam through lasers, or choose to destroy them with electricity using special tools made for that purpose.

The dermatologist can use these technologies to treat non-cancerous conditions such as age spots, moles, skin tags, as well as cancerous conditions where the cancer is present only in the skin’s superficial layers.

Some conditions involve potentially deeper skin layers. The dermatologist will use surgical excision for such growths where they will be cut out, and the resulting wound is sealed using sutures.

Some examples of benign growths that warrant excision are specific moles, cysts, fatty tumors (lipomas), and birthmarks.


Types of Dermatologic Surgery

Excisional surgery is frequently used for skin cancers, particularly malignant melanomas.

Mohs surgery is a specialized excisional surgery used in the treatment of certain types of skin cancers.

Another form of dermatologic surgery is reconstructive plastic surgery. In our office, thousands of patients receive this surgery annually after the excision of their skin cancer via Mohs surgery. This type of surgery is also used in the treatment of various melanomas.


Safe, In-Office Procedures

Surgical dermatology procedures can usually be performed in-office using local anesthesia. Previously, such procedures were done under stronger sedation or general anesthesia. However, advancements in technology and local anesthetics have allowed these procedures to be performed safely on an outpatient basis.

When patients receive these treatments in an outpatient setting, they are at a lower risk for infection and can resume their routine faster. Furthermore, the recovery phase for most of these procedures involves minimal or moderate discomfort which can be managed with mild pain meds.


Post-Operative Recovery

Many patients develop a minor redness, inflammation, bruising, and itching around the wound which is normal. However, patients should call the surgeon immediately if the redness spreads to other areas or persists for over two days, or the wound starts to drain pus.

The dermatologist can offer guidance to the patient in case they have an itchy sensation in the sites where the adhesive tape has been placed. The bruising and inflammation should resolve after four to five days following the procedure. The patient can use cold compress in the initial 24 hours to reduce the inflammation.

Board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness receives patients from Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and nearby areas for surgical dermatology.

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.

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