Why should I see a plastic surgeon or mohs surgeon instead of derm doctor for skin cancer removal and repair?
Location. Skin cancers in difficult places(eyes, nose, ears) should always be removed by mohs surgery. It is the only procedure that will assure you have had your skin cancer removed completely. Mohs surgeons are excellent at repairing defects and if they are not confident in their skill they will let a plastic surgeon repair the defect.
Depends.. I think it depends on the location and type of skin cancer. Most dermatologists are comfortable performing simple excisions or may refer to plastics or a dermatological surgeon. Most skin cancers on the face are removed via mohs surgery, the reconstruction is either performed by the mohs surgeon or coordinated with a plastic surgeon/ent or oculoplastics. www.mohspros.com.
Training. The acms fellowship (www.Skincancermohssurgery.Org) established by dr. F. Mohs is acknowledged as the benchmark in mohs surgery training. Through an extensive application and interview process, only the most qualified physicians are selected by acms to participate in a fellowship program. Participants must undergo a rigorous 1-2 yr training program after completing a residency in dermatology.
Specialized training. Generally speaking, dermatologist can diagnose and treat skin cancer. However, one needs special training to to moh's surgery and that's why some patients are referred to specialist for this procedure. The procedure is like peeling off onion skin layer by layer until the skin is cancer free.
Mohs. Dermatologic surgeons perform far more skin cancer removals than any other specialty. For most skin cancers, you will benefit most from their experience. In the rare instance that the tumor is very large (> 1 or 2 cm) or in very challenging anatomic locations (for isntance feet, genitals, eyelids) referral to another surgeon or a team approach will be better.
Either. Both plastic surgeons and dermatological surgeons will treat skin cancers . For large tumors that require extensive resection and reconstruction plastic surgeons are needed.
Mohs highest cure. Mohs is the gold standard for treating skin cancer (highest cure rate). Need to verify that your mohs surgeon is recognized as a fellowship-trained surgeon. Only members of the american college of mohs surgery (acms) are fellowship trained to perform mohs surgery. All members and fellows of the acms are listed on their website directory. The link to the acms website: http://www.Mohscollege.Org/.
Great question! First thing you want to do is to have the tumor completely removed. The way to ensure this is to have mohs micrographic surgery (www.Skincancermohssurgery.Org). Mohs surgery is skin sparing surgery with the highest cure rate (99%). The surgeon will check all the surgical margins to ensure that all the roots have been removed & then will repair the defect in a way which minimizes scar the same day.
Plastic. Mohs surgery is done by dermatologist however simple excision by a plastic surgeon is often faster with a better result.