The plastic surgery team at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital can provide many treatments and surgical procedures that improve skin texture through resurfacing or removal of unwanted growths.
Dermabrasion is a skin refinishing technique that can remove contour irregularities and provide a smoother skin surface. Typically applied to the facial skin, dermabrasion can help reduce the appearance of acne scars, skin growths, tattoos, deep wrinkles and other skin texture problems. During dermabrasion, your plastic surgeon uses a special abrasion device to carefully scrape away the outer skin layer. After treatment, 1 to 2 weeks of healing time will be necessary.
A keloid is an abnormal growth of scar tissue that forms at the site of a wound, often near a surgical incision or injury. Keloid scars are different from normal scars or hypertrophic scars because they expand well beyond the normal margins of the wound. They are more likely to appear in areas where the skin is subjected to high tension, and occur more often in persons with dark skin. There are many possible ways to repair or remove keloid scars, and treatments are often combined for best results. Dressings, corticosteroids and surgical excision are commonly performed, and alternative methods include laser surgery, cryotherapy and radiation.
Melanoma is a tumor caused by malignant transformation of melanocytes, which are melanin-producing cells located at bottom layer of the epidermis. Doctors commonly identify melanoma by assessing the lesion’s size, color, symmetry, color, border and changes that occur as the tumor evolves. Early stage melanoma tumors are best treated with excision, which is frequently combined with Mohs surgery to analyze the affected tissue.
Moles, lesions, or soft tissue tumors are concerns that are commonly addressed by a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. To define a lesion, your doctor examines the physical characteristics that are present inside and outside its borders, while taking factors like age, sun exposure, related symptoms and other background information into consideration. Surgical removal of a mole or lesion allows your doctor to diagnose the lesion and address the cosmetic concern. Small incisions are made to remove the lesion, followed by direct closure with non-absorbable sutures. The sutures can be removed in about 5 to 14 days, depending on the location of the lesion that is removed.
Removal of Skin Cancers
Surgical removal of basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma is a relatively simple process. The treatment can involve a simple excision (removal with a scalpel) of the lesion or a more advanced technique called Mohs micrographic surgery.
Mohs micrographic surgery is a common treatment for removal of skin cancer under microscopic control. The surgeon marks the tumor and injects local anesthesia before carefully removing it with a scalpel. Using a microscope, the tissue is then immediately analyzed and identified.
Reconstruction after Mohs Surgery
While Mohs surgery is known for minimizing cosmetic defects, special techniques in wound care and reconstructive surgery may be necessary after surgery, especially when the tumor is located in a highly visible area.
Scar revision is a technique for improving the appearance and function of a prominent scar. The process is often described as a surgical method for replacing one scar with a smaller, less visible scar. Plastic surgeons often perform this procedure when a scar crosses areas of the skin that are highly visible or prone to frequent movement. After scar revision, the scar is less noticeable and the skin can flex and move more easily.