Curettage And Electrodesiccation For Carcinoma

If you have a certain type of cancer, you may be eligible for a surgical procedure called curettage and electrodesiccation. This surgery has many benefits but relies on you getting an early diagnosis. If you wait too long, you may not be eligible for this minor surgery and need more aggressive treatment. Continue reading to learn more about curettage and electrodesiccation and who is the best candidate.

How Does Curettage and Electrodesiccation Work?

Curettage is the process of using a curette to scrape or cut out shallow skin cancer. Electrodesiccation is when the surgeon uses a tool with an electric current to control bleeding. Electrodesiccation also helps remove cancer cells left over after curettage. The procedure is usually done in the doctor's office. You can go home the same day, though you will need to follow up later.

Which Cancers Is the Procedure Most Effective?

Curettage and electrodesiccation work best with shallow skin cancers that haven't spread. People with basal and squamous cell cancer are excellent candidates. These cancers tend not to metastasize or spread throughout the body. Therefore, the doctor will likely be able to remove all the cancerous cells. The doctor can also use this procedure on people with pre-cancerous cells as a preventative measure.

Who Are the Best Candidates for the Procedure?

People who have small, shallow, and well-defined lesions are the best candidates for this procedure. This procedure is ideal for those who cannot handle more intense surgical techniques. However, this procedure is not good for people with cancer in some hairy areas of the body like the armpits, beard, and head. Also, the cancers must be small for this procedure to work.

What Happens After the Procedure?

After the procedure, the doctor will cover the wound with a bandage. You may experience some residual pain and swelling that should resolve on its own. The wound will crust over and seep through the bandage, so adhere to your doctor's follow-up instructions for infection control.

The wounds generally heal within a few weeks. You will likely have a visible flat, white scar at the surgery site. If you experience any sign of an infection, see your doctor right away.

Curettage and electrodesiccation have a high success rate, especially if you have new cancer that is not deep. Most people recover quickly. Since you may develop a scar at the surgery site, it is best for less-visible areas. To have the greatest chance of success against cancer, have your skin screened by a dermatologist if you notice something unusual. They can also provide further information regarding skin cancer treatments.