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Skin Cancer Removal
Submitted by steven on Thu, 08/18/2011 - 12:18
Skin Cancer Treatments
Dr. Goldberg has treated numerous patients that that have been diagnosed with skin cancer, and it comes as no surprise considering it has killed more people in the last 30 years than all other forms of cancer combined. Our surgical plan for treating any skin cancer always involves removing all cancer cells while leaving the best possible cosmetic result with minimal scarring.
What most patients do not know is that medical insurance will cover the excision of non-malignant (non-cancerous, benign) skin tumors and lesions. These include nevi, moles, birthmarks and other skin defects. In billing, thousands of these types of procedures we have never seen denied by major medical insurance companies.
Why is it continuously covered? The reason is that they are considered high risk for becoming cancerous over time. For this reason, having them removed is considered preventative and medically necessary. Even lesions that are obviously benign can be removed and covered by insurance if there is any redness, itching, tenderness, or irritation. The best part is that you can have it removed by a plastic surgeon.
In our opinion using a plastic surgeon is a no brainer for both malignant and benign skin defects. Whether you have a mole, nevi or other lesion, they are all abnormal tissue and therefore a higher risk of becoming cancer. In most cases, removing these skin defects is a minor procedure done with local anesthesia. It is important to consider having them removed sooner than later to protect your health.
If you even begin to suspect bnormal tissue, it is critical to have it biopsied and sent to a pathologist. This can be done by removing a small part or the entire lesion.
It is important for a couple reasons. First, you should know if an area is cancerous or pre cancerous, and second, insurance companies will often deny coverage if the lesion is not sent to pathology. Your dermatologist or plastic surgeon can perform the biopsy. When scheduling your appointment with a plastic surgeon, ask whether you need to have it biopsied by your dermatologist before the consultation. Each office can have a different policy.
Common skin cancers treated include Squamous Cell Carcinomas, Basal Cell Carcinomas and Malignant Melanomas.
Surgery is usually performed in one of our office's AAASF Operating Rooms or in one of our minor procedure rooms. Procedures are usually performed using only local anesthesia or a light sedation based on patient preference.