Melanoma in Richmond, VA
Skin cancer is on the rise, and melanoma is a life-threatening type of skin cancer that affects men and women of all ages. If you have an unusual growth on your skin or if you have been diagnosed with melanoma, our board-certified plastic surgeons are uniquely qualified to provide treatment. Richmond Plastic Surgeons offers melanoma treatment for the residents of Richmond, Midlothian and surrounding areas of Virginia.
What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is a life-threatening type of skin cancer. Like other skin cancers, melanoma is caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation, such as sunlight and tanning beds. The cancerous cells begin in the skin and then begin to spread into the body. In the early stages, melanoma looks like a mole or the growth may develop on an existing mole. Most melanomas are brown or black, but may also be purple, red, white, pink, blue or skin colored. People who are at greatest risk for developing melanoma are those who experience occasional exposure to intense sunlight which may lead to a sunburn.
Benefits of Melanoma Treatment
More than 10,000 people die each year from melanoma, and early treatment is key to achieving the best long-term outcomes. If the cancer is not treated early, it can spread to other parts of the body and be life threatening.
Who is the Ideal Candidate for Melanoma Treatment?
You should evaluate your skin on a regular basis and keep an eye on any unusual growths. If you notice something unusual on your skin or a growth that changes, schedule a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons. You can use the following guidelines for your skin examination:
- Moles are symmetrical, and melanoma is asymmetrical
- Moles have clear, defined edges, and melanoma has uneven and irregular edges.
- Moles are typically one color, and a melanoma growth is typically more than one color, such as brown mixed with black or red.
- Melanoma growths are normally larger than the eraser on a pencil.
What Do I Need to Do Before Having My Melanoma Treated?
An accurate diagnosis by one of our board-certified plastic surgeons is your first step toward receiving appropriate treatment for melanoma and other types of skin lesions.
What Should I Expect on The Day of the Melanoma Treatment?
Surgery is recommended for removing smaller melanomas from the skin. If the melanoma covers a larger area of skin or is thick or has spread to other parts of the body, your plastic surgeon will recommend the appropriate treatment protocol.
The surgery for melanoma requires removing the growth plus a margin of healthy skin around the growth.
How Long Does It Take to Perform Melanoma Treatment?
The length of your surgery to remove melanoma depends on the size and location of the growth. Our surgeon will explain your individual surgery during the consultation. In most cases, melanoma surgery takes less than one hour.
What to Expect After Melanoma Treatment
The wound caused by the surgical removal of the melanoma may be sutured closed. A bandage is placed over the area to promote healing and prevent infection. We will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your progress. Your plastic surgeon may also want to schedule appointments in the future for us to examine your skin and monitor for a recurrence of melanoma and other types of skin lesions.
Will I Have Scars After Getting Melanoma Treatment?
You will have a scar after your melanoma treatment.
When Will I See the Results?
You will see results immediately after the surgery to remove the melanoma.
What Are Possible Complications of Melanoma Treatment?
Bleeding, infection, scarring, and the possible complications. Patients need long-term surveillance from their dermatologist to detect recurrences or new primary melanomas.
How Long Will the Results of Melanoma Treatment Last?
The melanoma is permanently removed from your skin, but once you are diagnosed with any type of skin cancer, your risk for future skin cancers increases. Your surgeon will suggest steps to take in changing your lifestyle to minimize the chances of developing skin cancer in the future.
How Much Does Melanoma Treatment Cost in Richmond?
Your melanoma treatment is usually covered by insurance. After your consultation, we will review your out-of-pocket costs. For your convenience, Richmond Plastic Surgeons accepts several forms of payment, including CareCredit® financing.
If you notice an unusual growth on your skin, contact us for a skin cancer and melanoma screening. Our board-certified plastic surgeons will diagnose and treat the condition.