Electrodesiccation and curettage surgery is an excellent way to remove cases of basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma that are shallow and concentrated in the upper layers of the skin.
When it comes to skin cancer, it can be difficult to understand the best treatment option for your particular case. Fortunately, you don’t have to make this decision on your own. RidgeView Dermatology can provide patients with skin cancer evaluations, and offer expert suggestions about the best courses of treatment. Contact us today to schedule a consultation appointment.
What is Electrodesiccation and Curettage Surgery?
Electrodesiccation and curettage surgery, or ED&C, is a surgical technique designed to remove non-aggressive basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. It can also be used to remove some warts and precancerous lesions. ED&C is a simple, in-office procedure that has a 93% success rate.
How it Works
Before the procedure begins, an anesthetic is used to numb the treatment area. Once the anesthetic has fully taken effect, a semi-sharp instrument called a cutteredge is used to scrape away skin cancer cells from the skin. Once the dermatologist thinks that the cancerous cells have been adequately removed, the treatment area is burned in a process called desiccation. This ensures that the roots of the cancer and any remaining cancerous cells in the area are destroyed. The wound is then left open to heal, with the process typically taking a few weeks.
Benefits of ED&C
Unlike other surgical skin cancer removal treatments like Mohs surgery, ED&C is fairly quick. The entire procedure usually takes only an hour to complete. Because it takes such a short amount of time, it is usually less expensive than other methods of removal. Patients with thin, well-defined cases of skin cancer that are small in diameter are typically best suited for this procedure.
Downsides of ED&C
While ED&C is a beneficial procedure in many regards, it has some drawbacks that patients should be aware of before undergoing treatment. A distinct, oval-shaped burn scar remains after the skin has healed. There is also no microscopic examination of the cells being removed during the procedure. This means that there is a degree of guesswork involved in determining when all of the cancerous cells have been excised. Because of this, patients are required to attend regularly scheduled follow-up appointments to ensure that their cancer has been removed entirely.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with either basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma and are exploring your treatment options, contact us today to learn more about the ways that ED&C may be able to benefit you.