What Does Melanoma Removal Entail?

Dr. Scott A. deVilleneuve, melanoma, removal, Surgical Associates of North Texas

Cancer can be an uphill battle, where the odds never seem to be in your favor. Thanks to advanced surgical techniques, surgeons like Dr. Scott A. deVilleneuve are fighting back, and the odds are ever in their favor with incredibly high cure rates that figure between 94% and 99%.

At Surgical Associates of North Texas, Dr. deVilleneuve and his team offer patients in McKinney, Texas, a rare ray of hope in the dismal world of cancer through melanoma removal using the Mohs surgery technique.

Here’s a look at how this incredibly successful surgery can remove melanoma from your body, once and for all.

Melanoma 101

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, but of the three main types, melanoma is the least common, with just over 91,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Unfortunately, it’s also the most potentially dangerous of the main types of skin cancers.

Melanoma starts in your melanocytes, which are the melanin-producing cells in your skin. Melanoma typically shows up on the chests and backs of men and the legs of women, though this disease can attack almost anywhere melanocytes exist. The resulting lesions are often dark in color because the cells are still producing pigment, but they can also show up as lighter-colored lesions.

If you’ve been diagnosed with melanoma, the first order of business is to get rid of the melanoma before it spreads, This type of early intervention is key in most skin cancers, and thanks to new surgical techniques, your melanoma can be cured — a word rarely used when discussing cancer.

The Mohs difference

Dr. deVilleneuve is a top-ranked general surgeon who has extensive experience in helping patients successfully deal with melanoma, thanks to his use of Mohs surgery.

Mohs surgery is a very detailed procedure wherein Dr. deVilleneuve removes your melanoma one layer at a time. The main driver in Mohs surgery is to ensure that all of the cancer is removed from your body, while also avoiding an overly large excision that damages much of the surrounding tissue.

Based on the old adage of not throwing the baby out with the bathwater, Dr. deVilleneuve removes just a little bit of tissue at a time, which he carefully studies under a microscope. Each time he removes another layer, he goes again to the microscope to see where the concentration of cancer cells is, which guides him in the next tissue-removal stage.

Little by little, Dr. deVilleneuve removes your cancer, using the microscope as his guide, until your tissue is clear of cancer cells. This thorough approach allows him to remove only what’s necessary, leaving the rest of your skin intact. While cosmetics may be the least of your concerns when you’re facing a melanoma diagnosis, this tissue-sparing aspect of Mohs surgery can be a godsend if your melanoma is on a prominent area of your body.

And cosmetics aside, this methodical approach to your melanoma means that Dr. deVilleneuve doesn’t stop until he’s assured all of the cancer is excised.

The proof is in the numbers

There are many advantages to melanoma removal using Mohs surgery. To start, Dr. deVilleneuve can perform the entire procedure in one visit, often using only local anesthesia. But these benefits mean nothing if the procedure doesn’t work.

Well, Mohs not only works, it has up to a 99% cure rate for first-time melanomas and up to a 94% success rate for melanomas that return after previous treatments. These are numbers that are hard to argue.


If you’d like to explore whether you’re a candidate for melanoma removal using Mohs surgery, please give us a call or use the online scheduling tool on this website to set up a consultation.

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