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What's the best doctor to remove a small basal cell carcinoma from my forehead?

By Anonymous December 29, 2009 - 9:24am
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A dermatological surgeon (MOHS procedure) or a plastic surgeon? Also, what questions should I ask to find the best doctor? Thanks for your help.

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HERWriter Guide

Hello Anon - Thanks for contacting us. Mohs micrographic surgery is primarily used to treat basal and squamous cell carcinomas, but can be used to treat less common tumors including melanoma. The procedure is performed by dermatologists who have specialized training in surgery, pathology and reconstruction.

You can find a lot of information about the procedure at the website for the American College of Mohs Surgery, as well as the ability to search for a physician who is a Fellow in this procedure. These physicians have extensive training that includes participating in at least 500 Mohs micrographic surgery cases under the supervision of an experienced, ACMS-approved Mohs surgeon. Fellows are chosen only after completing an extremely competitive review and selection process.


The website also lists the most common questions patients ask about this surgery:


Another good resource for you, for information about surgery, treatment and follow up care, is the Skin Cancer Foundation website.


If you have additional questions after reviewing these sites please let us know and we'd be happy to assist you. Will you also let us know how your surgery goes?

Take good care,

December 29, 2009 - 5:30pm

I would like to do some more research on this, but from my initial findings, it looks like a Dermatologic Surgeon or a Dermatopatholist are more specialized at treating skin cancers and other diseases of the skin, when compared to a Plastic Surgeon.

As I'm sure you know, it is important to make sure the surgeon is board-certified in his/her medical specialty, is experienced with specific technique, concentrates on a few specialty areas and works in an accredited hospital of other facility.

You can find out if the surgeon is board-certified at these sites:
- Search for your state Medical Board, along with the following sub-specialities:
- American Board of Medical Specialties: www.ABMS.org
- American Board of Dermatology: http://www.abderm.org (or the Society: http://www.asds.net/GeneralDermasurgeryInformation.aspx)
- American Board of Plastic Surgery: https://www.abplsurg.org

December 29, 2009 - 3:56pm
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