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New Technology and Improved Techniques Arm Dermatologists With Tools to Minimize Facial Scars From Skin Cancer Surgery
Date:2/3/2008

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- While most skin cancer patients would like nothing more than to put their experience behind them, the majority carry constant reminders of their battle with cancer in the form of surgical scars. In some cases, skin cancer surgical scars can cause serious disfigurement, particularly on facial areas that are hard to hide or camouflage. Now, thanks to pioneering research, dermatologists can offer patients more effective facial reconstruction options to reduce the appearance of scars following skin cancer surgery.

Speaking today at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, dermatologist Tri H. Nguyen, MD, FAAD, associate professor of dermatology, director of Mohs micrographic and dermatologic surgery, and program director of procedural dermatology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, discussed how dermatologists are improving patient satisfaction by using the newest innovations and techniques to minimize surgical scars from facial skin cancers.

"For years, dermatologists have used a number of tried-and-true healing options for wounds resulting from skin cancer surgery -- from effectively allowing Mother Nature to heal wounds without medical or surgical intervention to various closure techniques, surgical flaps and skin grafts," said Dr. Nguyen. "While these methods have proven quite effective in minimizing surgical scars, dermatologists are drawing on their expertise in how the skin heals to expand the current treatment options and further enhance results."

Barbed Stitch Technique

One relatively new development is the barbed suture (or stitch) technique, reported Dr. Nguyen, which has simplified how dermatologists close difficult wounds. Instead of tying multiple stitch knots in the wound as is common with traditional closure techniques, Dr. Nguyen explained that a dermatologic surgeon threads a running "baseball stitch" through the wound -- or a co
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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