Surgical Dermatology for Skin Cancer

surgical dermatology

Surgical Dermatology at the Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery Institute (DCSI) is where precision meets expertise in the realm of skin, hair, and nail health. Led by Dr. Wassef and a dedicated team, our commitment extends beyond medical dermatology, embracing the intricate field of surgical interventions. Our center for surgical dermatology in Palm Beach is designed to provide patients with a comprehensive range of safe and effective treatments. Whether addressing dermatologic conditions with surgical precision or enhancing aesthetic features through cosmetic procedures, we prioritize your well-being, ensuring optimal results and a heightened level of comfort throughout your journey with us.

What Is Surgical Dermatology?

Surgical dermatology is a specialized branch of dermatology focused on the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions through surgical procedures. It encompasses a wide spectrum of interventions, ranging from minor excisions to complex reconstructive surgeries for removing invasive cancer. At DCSI, our surgical dermatology services are tailored to address diverse skin concerns, offering patients precise and effective solutions for conditions that require surgical expertise. Whether it’s the removal of skin cancers, mole excisions, or cosmetic enhancements, our dermatologists at DCSI are dedicated to providing exceptional care and achieving optimal outcomes for the health and appearance of your skin.

What Is Mohs Surgery for Skin Cancer?

Mohs Micrographic surgery is a highly specialized and precise technique employed for treating certain types of skin cancer that saves the greatest amount of healthy tissue and has a very high cure rate for select cancers. Developed in the 1930s, the procedure entails the systematic removal of skin cancer layers, followed by microscopic examination until clear margins of healthy, cancer-free tissue surrounding the tumor are achieved.

What sets Mohs surgery apart is its unparalleled effectiveness, attributed to the meticulous microscopic evaluation of 100% of the surgical margins. This on-site examination, conducted by a specialized Mohs surgeon, ensures a comprehensive understanding of microscopic findings and their correlation with the patient’s surgical site. Dr. Mounir Wassef, certified in providing surgical dermatology treatment in Delray Beach, employs the Mohs technique to deliver optimal results.

Excisional Surgery

The excisional surgery approach is a meticulous process where the physician surgically removes the entire growth along with a precise border of normal skin to ensure a safety margin. This safety margin is a crucial aspect of the procedure, allowing for the comprehensive elimination of cancerous tissue while minimizing the risk of recurrence. By removing the entire growth and carefully examining the surrounding healthy skin, Mohs surgeons like Dr. Mounir Wassef can provide patients with a thorough and effective treatment, emphasizing both the eradication of skin cancer and the preservation of surrounding healthy tissue. This approach of excisional therapy exemplifies the commitment to achieving optimal outcomes in terms of both medical efficacy and aesthetic results.

Electrodesiccation and Curettage

The electrodesiccation and curettage approach is a more targeted method in which the physician employs a circular scalpel, known as a curette, to meticulously scrape off the cancerous growth. Following this, an electric needle is utilized to destroy any remaining tumor cells and effectively control bleeding. This dual-action technique ensures a thorough removal of cancerous tissue while minimizing the potential for recurrence. Dr. Mounir Wassef, proficient in the nuances of Mohs surgery, employs the electrodesiccation and curettage route to provide patients with a precise and effective treatment, emphasizing both the removal of skin cancer and the preservation of healthy tissue. 

Actinic Keratoses

Actinic Keratoses (AKs) manifest as scaly or crusty growths resulting from sun-induced damage by ultraviolet (UV) rays, appearing on any sun-exposed area, with a heightened prevalence on the scalp, face, and hands. These growths typically exhibit a red hue but may vary in coloration, presenting as tan, pink, or flesh-colored. If neglected, AKs pose the risk of progressing to squamous cell carcinoma, the second most prevalent form of skin cancer. With an estimated 58 million Americans affected, the likelihood of AKs increases with proximity to the equator, making Florida, with its elevated sun exposure, particularly susceptible. At DCSI, we specialize in providing high-quality treatment for skin cancer. Our comprehensive approach includes photodynamic therapy for actinic keratosis as well as cryosurgery, laser surgery, chemical peeling, and the application of topical chemotherapeutic agents.


Cryosurgery emerges as a precise and effective method for the treatment of Actinic Keratoses. This approach involves the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze and subsequently destroy precancerous or cancerous tissue. The extreme cold of liquid nitrogen effectively eliminates abnormal cells, promoting the regeneration of healthy skin. Cryosurgery is a targeted solution that can be particularly beneficial for treating isolated or localized areas affected by AKs. The physician at our surgical dermatology center in South Florida utilizes Cryosurgery as part of our comprehensive approach to AK treatment.

Skin Tags

A skin tag is a small piece of tissue attached to the skin by a connecting stalk, typically found in areas like the neck, armpits, under the breasts, or in the groin. While not harmful, skin tags are often the result of weight gain and are more common in women and the elderly. Despite being generally painless, skin tags may become irritated if subjected to friction from clothing or jewelry. Removal options include cutting them off with a scalpel or scissors, cryosurgery (freezing), or electrosurgery (burning with an electric current). These procedures offer effective solutions for addressing skin tags with minimal discomfort.

Cysts Removal

A cyst, often known as a sebaceous cyst, is a small enclosed sac filled with fluid or solid material, typically manifesting as a non-tender lump beneath the skin. Swollen hair follicles are a common origin of sebaceous cysts, often triggered by skin trauma. These slow-growing, painless lumps are commonly found on the face and neck, characterized by their free mobility beneath the skin. Although typically benign, cysts can occasionally become inflamed and tender and may even rupture. At our South Florida dermatology center, we offer solutions such as reducing cyst size through steroid injections or complete removal via excisional surgery, providing comprehensive care for individuals seeking effective cyst management.


Moles, also referred to as nevi, are pigmented skin growths typically appearing in shades of brown or black. They can manifest as singular entities or in clusters, occurring anywhere on the skin. It’s commonplace for individuals to have between 10 to 40 moles by adulthood. The formation of moles results from the clustering of melanocytes, the skin cells responsible for pigment production. Normal moles may naturally darken due to sun exposure, during adolescence, or pregnancy. However, if a mole exhibits any concerning signs listed below, prompt evaluation is essential, as it could signify abnormality or, in severe cases, melanoma.

  • Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not match the other half.
  • Border: The border or edges of the mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular.
  • Color: The color of the mole is not the same throughout or has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red.
  • Diameter: The diameter of a mole is larger than the eraser of a pencil.
  • Evolution: The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.

Contact Dr. Mounir Wassef Today for a Consultation

Discover an extensive range of services offered at our Wellington and Delray offices, specializing in surgical dermatology, to learn more about the conditions we expertly address. Vigilantly monitor your skin for any changes and schedule regular appointments with Dr. Wassef, renowned as the best dermatologist in South Florida. Particularly, be proactive if you have a family history of skin conditions, as early detection can be life-saving.

In addition to prioritizing skin health, our surgical dermatology procedures at the Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery Institute aim to elevate your comfort and appearance by addressing concerns such as eczema, rashes, varicose veins, and more. Whether managing potentially harmful conditions or those impacting your aesthetic confidence, our dedicated team is committed to helping you attain your skin-related goals. For further information on our services, contact DCSI today and explore insightful content on skincare in our expert skin care blog.