American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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smania
3 years ago
Answered

Skin cancer

I go to a dermatologist for periodic skin checks, and when there is a questionable spot on my leg or something, they take it off. Now I have an area on my face that looks questionable. Is that something I would go to a plastic surgeon to remove, or is that something my dermatologist would do and then consult a plastic surgeon later if it turns out to be something scary?

Procedure: Facelift
Location: Bartlett, IL

Replies 5

Jonathan Zelken
ASPS Surgeon
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You can do either. I generally recommend having it diagnosed and followed by a dermatologist, then follow up with a plastic surgeon for excision of a biopsied lesion, or at the least, reconstruction of a defect. Dermatologists are great, but ASPS plastic surgeons will work especially hard to make the defect as small and inconspicuous as possible!

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Steven Wallach
ASPS Surgeon

You can have either of the plastic surgeon or dermatologist to remove it. I usually send my patients to the dermatologist. If the dermatologist decides to excise the lesion iand the lesion defect is quite large, I will often have the patient come back to me so that I can close it for them.

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Daniel Allan

Having two physicians take care of one lesion (one to excise it, none to close the wound) means two fees. If, after biopsy, the questionable spot is a basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma, then it should be removed preferably with frozen section control, and closed at the same sitting. If it is a melanoma, you may need further evaluation depending on the thickness of the melanoma, prior to surgery.

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Asaad Samra
ASPS Surgeon

Either way would be acceptable. That said, most of the dermatologists that I work are only really comfortable performing a biopsy on the face and leave any complete removal to me. Best of luck.

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Jon Ver Halen
ASPS Surgeon
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Dear Smania,

Thank you for your question. I agree that you could either see a dermatologist, or a plastic surgeon to evaluate this spot. Keep in mind that if you see two physicians, you will likely have to separate bills to pay. This, it is often easiest to have this issues addressed by a single doctor. Good luck!

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