Skin Cancer Surgery

Skin Cancer Surgery with Dr. Walter Erhardt in Albany, Georgia

Affecting more than one million people in the U.S. every year, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. When caught early, skin cancer is treatable, but may leave your skin with unwanted scars. Seeking out a skilled plastic surgeon can help maintain the integrity of your skin.

Board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Walter Erhardt specializes in the latest skin cancer removal techniques. Whether you've been officially diagnosed with skin cancer, or you're concerned about a questionable lesion, Dr. Erhardt has the education and training to help.

Benefits of Skin Cancer Removal

  • Dr. Erhardt can effectively treat patients who suffer from basal or squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, irregular moles or questionable skin lesions.
  • Visible cancerous lesions are sometimes just the tip of the iceberg, with the majority of cancerous material being hidden beneath the surface of the skin. Reconstructive surgery may be required to repair the appearance of your skin.
  • There is no way to guarantee the final cosmetic outcome of your procedure, but choosing a skilled plastic surgeon can dramatically reduce your risk of unfavorable scarring.

Anyone who has been diagnosed with skin cancer should consider removal surgery. As a general rule, the best candidates for skin cancer removal are otherwise healthy and possess realistic expectations. Dr. Erhardt will be able to determine if skin cancer removal is necessary for you following an in-house consultation.

How Skin Cancer Removal Works

Fact

Skin cancer can be like an iceberg; what you see on the surface may be a small portion of the cancer growing underneath. In such cases, a special procedure called Mohs surgery may be necessary. The incision is not closed until you can verify that all cancerous cells have been removed. Last year, over 4 million tumors were removed according to the ASPS, making it the top reconstructive surgery by a wide margin.

Your consultation: During your consultation, it's important to be honest and upfront about your medical history, cosmetic expectations and recovery goals. Your consultation will begin with a physical exam, followed by an in-depth discussion of skin cancer removal. You will also have the opportunity to view Dr. Erhardt's gallery of before and after patient photos.

Surgery: For basic lesions, surgical removal using a small incision can be performed under a local anesthetic. An incision is made around the lesion and the lesion is removed. The incision is then closed using fine sutures. More advanced techniques such as skin or tissue grafts may be needed to reconstruct large wounds. During these procedures, a portion of healthy tissue is removed from a donor site on your body and transplanted to the treatment area. In most cases, donor tissue is taken from an area on your body that can be concealed under clothing.

Healing time: Immediately following treatment, your skin will be swollen, red and likely draining fluid. Surgical drains may be used to collect this excess fluid. You may experience some discomfort for several days in the treatment area, which can be managed with pain medication.

Bandages are removed in a few days, and stitches in one week. You should be able to resume normal activities right away, or within 1-2 days. More extensive procedures will require some downtime. These details will be discussed during your consultation.

Expected Results: Once the skin cancer has been removed, the healed skin should match the area around it and create a natural, smooth appearance. When at all possible, incision lines will be hidden with the natural contours of your body.

Following skin cancer removal, it is still possible for skin cancer to return in the same region or another area of your body. For this reason, you should wear sun screen and protect your skin from direct sun exposure. You should also get regular check ups with your dermatologist.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Erhardt

If you're ready to learn more about skin cancer removal, call 229-432-9325 to inquire about a consultation with Dr. Erhardt. Our plastic surgery practice is located at 506 Fourth Avenue, Albany, GA 31701.