SURGICAL AND NON-SURGICAL TREATMENTS
At Valley Dermatology Associates we’re able to provide the most current surgical techniques and procedures including MOHS Micrographic Surgery for skin cancer. Our generous surgical suites will provide scenery and comfort for your entire procedure. And, with our private waiting room you’ll feel right at home.
What is MOHS Micrographic Surgery?
MOHS Micrographic Surgery is a highly specialized procedure used in the total removal of skin cancers. This surgery uses a layer by layer method of removing skin cancer, with microscopic examination of nearly 100% of the removed tissues margins. This procedure yields a cure rate of over 98%.
Dr. Ecklund has nearly 25 years of combined experience doing MOHS Micrographic Surgery and well over 10,000 surgical cases. Dr. Ecklund, a fellow of the American Society of MOHS Surgery is also an experienced board-certified by the American Academy of Dermatology.
Our state-of-the-art surgical facility and experienced surgical staff will make sure that your MOHS surgical procedure is performed with the utmost care and comfort. Our separate surgery waiting room is equipped with a coffee service to provide a relaxing environment for your entire visit as well. Dr. Ecklund’s extensive experience and many previous procedures compliment his ability to give our patients the best possible cosmetic, post-operative result possible.
How does it work?
After a layer of tissue is removed by Dr. Ecklund , it is taken to our in-house laboratory. The removed tissue is precisely marked with special inks and our histo-technician who is specifically trained in the MOHS technique begins making slides for the doctor to review. A Micrographic map is made which corresponds to the excised tissue.
If no evidence of skin cancer remains, the procedure is completed. If the area is still positive for skin cancer, the precise location is marked on the map, and the physician takes another layer on just the positive areas(s). The same process of inking, freezing, cutting, staining and reviewing of slides is repeated until a cancer free layer is reached. Each layer may take 30-60+ minutes, depending on the size and shape of the tissue layer to process. As a result, MOHS surgery requires patience by both the patient and the physician. It is recommended that all MOHS patients allow adequate time to complete the procedure without interruption., bring a snack and something to occupy your time like a book or handheld game.
Learn more about MOHS Micrographic Surgery
Electronic skin cancer therapy or Brachytherapy is a state of the art alternative to surgery for the treatment of Basal cell and Squamous cell type skin cancers. This non-invasive form of radiation therapy is commonly performed for patients who are not suitable candidates for surgery; for example, patients who have lesions in difficult areas to treat surgically, are diabetic or require blood thinning medications. Additionally, electronic skin cancer therapy is an attractive alternative to patients who have had several previous surgical treatments for skin cancer. The skin cancer tumor is specifically targeted for treatment leaving surrounding healthy tissue protected.
There are two characteristics which differentiate electronic skin cancer therapy from other forms of radiation therapy for treating skin cancer. First, the lower energy of the miniaturized X-ray source allows treatment to take place in the comfort of our exam room with minimal shielding. The entire set up from start to treatment lasts only minutes. Second, there is no radioactive isotope hence the detailed safety procedures to ensure radiation security are not required. Treatments are usually scheduled twice a week for approximately five weeks.
PHOTODYNAMIC LIGHT THERAPY
Photodynamic therapy is a form of phototherapy using nontoxic light-sensitive compounds that are exposed selectively to light, whereupon they become toxic to targeted malignant and other diseased cells. One of the treatments is using blue light with aminolevulinic acid for the treatment of actinic keratosis.
Surgical excisions are scheduled and preformed regularly in our office. A surgical excision is done to remove a wide variety of skin lesions ranging from benign growths to more complicated skin cancers diagnoses. A marginal area of normal appearing skin is removed around the specific area, the surgical site is closed and proper compressive dressings applied. The marginal area of removed skin is then sent to Dermatopathology Northwest for pathological exam and the results discussed with you during your suture removal appointment.
Surgical excisions are performed on various sites of the body and offer exceptional cure rates with the benefit of localized anesthesia and relatively little pain or discomfort.