Dr. Nguyen has extensive surgical training and experience.
She performs a number of procedures listed below:
A sample of the skin is taken in a skin biopsy to aid in diagnosis of skin-related diseases. There are several types of skin biopsies such as punch biopsies, shave biopsies and excisional biopsies. These procedure are done with local numbing and the skin is often left to naturally heal on its own or sometimes may require placing a few sutures. Your dermatologist will be able to determine which type of biopsy procedure is best depending on body location and disease process being evaluated.
Skin cancer treatment
An initial skin biopsy is often performed to determine the specific type of skin cancer. In addition to the type of skin cancer, treatment depends on several factors such as skin cancer size, depth, location and the patient’s medical history. Various treatments options include surgical excision, mohs surgery, electrodessication and curettage (EDC), topical treatments and less commonly skin radiation.
Early-stage melanomas are usually treated by surgical removal. Depending on the stage of melanoma, labs, imaging studies and lymph node testing may be recommended. For later stage melanomas, coordinated care is often needed among your dermatologist, general surgeon, and oncologist.
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Removal of benign growths and tumors in the skin
There are a number of skin growths that are benign and not cancerous. Often, these benign growths do not need treatment though sometimes patients may want these growths removed for a number of reasons. These common skin growths include skin tags, “age spots”, “sun spots”, benign moles, cysts and lipomas (fatty bumps in the skin). Removal of certain benign growths and benign moles may involve surgical excision, where the lesion is numbed, cut out, and the skin is closed with stitches. Sometimes smaller benign moles or lesions can be removed via surgical shave removal, which entails numbing the skin, using a surgical blade to cut beneath the lesion, and allowing the skin to heal naturally on its own without any stitches. Skin tags, though completely benign, can be bothersome to people and may be removed by freezing (or cryosurgery) or with surgical scissors.
Moles can be benign and not require treatment but can be removed if the patient prefers. Sometimes moles may need to be removed if it looks abnormal and sent out for testing to check for skin cancer. Moles can be removed sometimes without requiring stitches and letting the skin heal naturally on its own or sometimes may require closing the skin with stitches after the mole is surgically cut out. The method for mole removal depends on location, size and depth of the mole. Your dermatologist will inform you what method works best to remove the mole.
Seborrheic keratoses, a type of “age spot”, can be be removed by cryosurgery (or freezing with liquid nitrogen), shave removal, or electrodessication (burning with a hyfrecator).
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“Age spots” can include seborrheic keratoses (benign growths in the skin) and lentigines (or “sun spots”). Several methods are used to reduce or eliminate the appearance of these lesions that appear with age, which includes cryosurgery (freezing with liquid nitrogen), shave removal, electrodessication (burning with a hyfrecator), chemical peels, and laser removal.
Cysts are usually benign sacs that can be felt as a bump right beneath the skin surface. Cysts are typically removed by surgical excision, where the small cut is made over the cyst and the surrounding sac removed. Removing the lesion as well as the sac is important to prevent recurrence. Local numbing is used for this procedure and several stitches are usually placed to close the skin back up.
Scar Treatment (including Keloids)
Depending on the type and location of the scar, several options are available that may improve scar or keloid appearance such as cutting the scar out again, injections into the scar, microneedling, dermabrasion, and laser treatment.
Lipomas are common benign fatty growths in the skin skin. These lipomas can often be easily removed by surgically removing the lesion and placing stitches to close the skin. The scar can often be minimized by making a small incision over the lesion.
Skin tag removals
Skin tags, though completely benign, can be bothersome to people and are often removed by freezing (cryosurgery) or snipped with surgical scissors.
Wart and molluscum treatment
Warts and molluscum are skin growth caused by viruses and commonly found in children although they can be seen often in adults as well. Sometimes these lesions may resolve on their own but often require treatment to prevent spreading. Molluscum is often treated with topical medications or applying a liquid medication called cantharidin but can also be removed by scraping (or curettage). Warts can sometimes be stubborn to treatment and require several treatments before they resolve. Wart treatments range from freezing with liquid nitrogen, candida immunotherapy, topical medications, scraping down (parring), and sometimes oral medications.
Brown spot treatment
“Age spots” or seborrheic keratoses and “sun spots” or solar lentigines may appear as brown blemishes or brown growths on the skin. Seborrheic keratoses may appear anywhere on the body whereas solar lentigines appear in areas with previous sun exposure such as the face, scalp, shoulders, hands, arms, and legs. While these lesions may not be medically dangerous, many people may find them cosmetically unappealing. Age spots are typically treated with liquid nitrogen freezing or cryosurgery. Sun spots can be treated with liquid nitrogen freezing as well as with bleaching or lightening creams such as hydroquinone, chemical peels and laser treatment.
Sometimes certain acne lesions such as whiteheads and blackheads (or comedones) may require extraction using a comedone expressor (sterile surgical tool used). Deep, painful and red acne nodules or cysts may need to be drained or injected to help them resolve faster and alleviate associated pain. These procedures, when performed alongside a prescribed acne treatment regimen, can add to quick effective results.
Ingrown toenails and pincer nails may result in irritation and compression of the surrounding skin and cause severe pain. Treatment includes nail surgery (nail avulsion, matricectomy) to remove part or all of the affected nail.