If you have a suspicious mole or area of skin, a skin cancer biopsy may be in your future. Thankfully, the procedure is quick and minimally invasive. It may also make all the difference in your skin health and overall well-being.
Ali Hendi, MD, and his dedicated team of professionals in Chevy Chase, Maryland, are pleased to provide on-site biopsies, so you can receive any needed treatment without a lengthy wait.
Read on to learn more about skin cancer biopsies, including what to expect during and after your procedure.
Why you may need a skin cancer biopsy
Dr. Hendi may order a skin cancer biopsy if an area of skin shows potential signs of skin cancer, such as the following:
- A firm, red nodule
- A scaly or itchy patch
- A mole that’s asymmetrical, especially large, or bleeding
- A mole that changes color or has red, white, pink, or blue-black areas
You may find a suspicious area of skin and come to Dr. Hendi, or he may find it during a routine skin exam.
What happens during a skin cancer biopsy
Dr. Hendi performs skin biopsies at his office, and they only take a few minutes. First, he numbs the suspicious area to ensure that you stay pain-free and comfortable.
Then, he uses a special surgical instrument to remove a small tissue sample. The sample is then sent to our on-site laboratory where it’s analyzed under a microscope.
What to expect after a skin cancer biopsy
Once Dr. Hendi reviews your skin biopsy, he lets you know what the results are and, if needed, discusses your treatment options.
The results could show that the cells are benign, precancerous, or cancerous. If the cells are benign, meaning there is no presence of cancer, he may give you the all-clear, or he may request another biopsy. If the results show that the cells are precancerous, or cancerous, he can develop a treatment plan.
The treatment options
If the cells are precancerous, he may recommend removing them, which could prevent full-fledged cancer from occuring. If the results show you have basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma — which are the two most common skin cancers — or melanoma, which is less common but more serious, Dr. Hendi may recommend Mohs surgery.
Mohs surgery involves removing thin layers of tissue, one at a time, and checking each layer for the presence of cancer cells. Once he removes a layer that shows no signs of cancer, he stops. Because this method only removes a little tissue at a time, he’s able to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible.
Mohs procedures bring very high success rates and help prevent skin cancer recurrence. Dr. Hendi has performed more than 14,000 Mohs surgeries, so you can trust that you’re in good hands.
Dr. Hendi may also recommend undergoing skin cancer surveillance. With this service, you come into our office periodically, and he performs a head-to-toe skin exam. This can help make sure any additional skin cancer signs are detected early.
If you have a suspicious mole or another skin concern, Dr. Hendi can give your skin a thorough evaluation and discuss your next steps. To learn more, call 301-812-4591 or book an appointment online with the practice of Ali Hendi, MD, today.