Prevention, Detection, & Treatment
Rao Dermatology is proud to offer comprehensive medical and cosmetic dermatology services.
The standout services that we offer here at Rao Dermatology are our comprehensive skin cancer diagnostics and treatment options. We are equipped with the most advanced non-invasive technology and the specialists to fully utilize them in order to diagnose skin cancer, especially melanoma.
Here is an example of the step by step process used to determine whether a patient is a candidate for MOHS surgery:
Initally, a suspicious lesion or mole will be viewed by the dermatologist with the naked eye, then examined with a dermatoscope.
The lesion will then be subjected to laser skin imaging with a confocal microscope. When used appropriately by an expert confocalist, this technology can spare a patient from an unnecessary biopsy or, in some cases, can diagnose melanoma/skin cancer which would not have been detected by the naked eye alone.
After confocal microscopy and analysis, if the lesion is still classified as suspicious, the physician will perform a skin biopsy, which is still the gold standard for diagnosing benign from malignant lesions. We always have a board certified dermatopathologist on-site to review these biopsies and correlate with the clinical impression, thus managing the patient in the most effective possible way.
For high risk patients with personal and familial histories of melanoma and other skin cancers, one of the most reliable ways to track new and changing pigmented lesions is with side-by-side comparisons of baseline and follow up photos.
Moles are a common occurrence on the skin that are usually benign. Moles can be present since birth (birthmarks) or they can start appearing during childhood and adolescence, usually on sun-exposed areas of the body. Whenever a new mole appears, or an old mole starts to change in color or size, or becomes itchy or painful, it should be examined by a dermatologist who has experience in evaluating moles and pigmented lesions. Some individuals have hundreds of moles, making it difficult to self-monitor them, which makes regular examinations by a dermatologist even more important. Patients with a family history of cancerous moles have an even higher risk of melanoma.
Sometimes, other skin growths, such as age spots or dark skin tags, can be mistaken for moles. At Rao Dermatology, we combine over 25 years of clinical experience and judgement with the latest non-invasive diagnostic tools to determine whether a biopsy is necessary. This is especially important if you have numerous moles or a mole at a cosmetically significant site, in order to minimize the possibility of scarring. If your dermatologist is unconvinced that a mole is benign, it will still be biopsied, but at Rao Dermatology, we use every technological means necessary to determine whether surgery is the only option.
When surgery is necessary, or when a patient chooses to remove a mole for aesthetic purposes, we perform these procedures in-house in the privacy and comfort of our state-of-the-art surgical facility.
Confocal Microscopy allows for high-resolution, non-invasive imaging of benign and malignant pigmented lesions, nonmelanoma skin cancer, and inflammatory skin conditions. Thin sections of tissue can be imaged allowing visualization of the cellular detail without biopsy. These images can then be analyzed by a trained Confocalist.
Having a dermatologist that is also a dermatopathologist leads to an altogether higher level of medical care by ensuring accurate diagnosis and subsequent management. In order to provide the fastest results for our patients, we use outside laboratories for processing and preliminary diagnosis. In order to provide the fastest results for our patients, we use outside laboratories for processing and preliminary diagnosis. However, when necessary, the clinician who examines you can also be the pathologist who analyzes your skin biopsy.
MOHS Micrographic Surgery:
The treatment of choice for cancers of the face and other sensitive areas, the MOHS technique allows the physician to precisely identify and remove the entire tumor, leaving surrounding healthy tissue intact and unharmed. First, the surgeon will excise the tumor. The specimen will then be immediately prepared and examined by the surgeon, who is also our in-house pathologist. The specimen will have been specially marked so that if the cancer has not been entirely removed, the surgeon can then immediately return to the site and remove only what is absolutely necessary, leaving as little scarring as possible. Because our MOHS specialists are at the height of their field in surgery, pathology, and re-construction, this procedure has the highest success rate of all treatments for skin cancer.
Dermoscopy, which is at the forefront of non-invasive pigmented lesion analysis, makes it possible to discern the patterns within moles that help us evaluate their potential for harm. Highly specialized equipment and training allow us to be more selective and more accurate when determining if and when surgery is necessary.
For sun-damaged skin and precancerous actinic keratoses, our patients can take advantage of non-invasive photodynamic therapy (PDT). Unlike biopsies, cryosurgery, or electrodessication, PDT allows for treatment of an entire area of sun damage, reducing the chance that undetected pre-cancerous cells will be left untreated.