Your dermatologist will discuss with you the various dermatologic surgical options should your growth prove to be a basal cell cancer. Your dermatologist may use a method called electrdesiccation and curettage. In this procedure the surface of the skin cancer is removed and the base of the skin cancer is gently burned or “cauterized” with an electric needle. When this is done there is often no need for further treatment. Simple surgical excision, in which the skin cancer is cut out and the skin sewn together using dermatologic cosmetic surgical techniques will often be recommended. In this case, the specimen is examined under a microscope after the procedure to determine that all the skin cancer has been removed. Other treatment methods, such as cryosurgery, radiation therapy, and laser surgery may be used in specific circumstances. In certain situations, your dermatologist may refer you for a specialized technique called Mohs micrographically controlled surgery. In this method, performed by specially trained dermatologic surgeons, the skin cancer is removed under local anesthesia in an office setting and microscopic sections are prepared on slides while you wait. Your Mohs surgeon examines the slides to determine if most of the cancer cells have been removed. If not additional layers are taken until the cancer is completely excised. The advantage of this technique is that a minimum amount of tissue is removed and all the edges of the specimen are carefully studied. This method has a high cure rate, but is not required for all skin cancers. In general, most dermatologists agree that recurrent skin cancers, that is skin cancers that were previously treated and have come back, incompletely removed skin cancers, large skin cancers, and skin cancers in cosmetically important areas, may benefit from the Mohs technique. After the skin cancer has been removed using this method, it may be allowed to heal naturally or reconstructive surgery using a skin flap or skin graft may be performed.