Skin Cancer and Melanoma Skin Removal

Boise - Caldwell

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Each year, an estimated 1 in 5 Americans develop skin cancer before the age of 70. When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99%. Most non-melanoma types of skin cancer can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Skin cancer is staged according to how far it has spread.

Skin Cancer and Melanoma | General Surgery

What is Skin Cancer and Melanoma? What Are the Different Types?

At its most basic, skin cancer can be defined as an abnormal growth of skin cells. Most skin cancers develop on skin exposed to the sun, but skin cancers can occur anywhere on the body. Skin cancer affects people with every skin tone, and it does not discriminate between men and women. The three most common skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It usually appears on sun-exposed areas of the body, such as the face and neck. It is the most curable form of skin cancer, and the damage can be minimal when it is caught early. Basal cell carcinoma tends to grow slowly and starts in the top layer of the skin. Although basal cell carcinoma rarely spreads beyond the original tumor site, this cancer can become dangerous if the lesions are left untreated.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. Squamous cells are the flat cells found in the top layer of the skin. Squamous cell carcinoma can occur anywhere on the body. If squamous cell carcinoma goes untreated, it can become invasive and grow deeper into the various layers of skin and eventually spread to other parts of the body.


Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. It is far less common than either basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas. If left untreated, melanoma can rapidly spread to other organs in the body. When melanoma is detected early, it is usually curable. Melanoma can grow from an existing mole or form a new lesion on the skin that appears to be normal. It is most found on the torso and legs.

Skin Cancer and Melanoma | General Surgery

What Treatment is Recommended for Skin Cancer and Melanoma?

When skin cancer and melanoma are detected, the only treatment option is the removal of the abnormal cells. This can be accomplished through a variety of different types of skin cancer removal surgical techniques. If the cancer is larger or has spread, radiation therapy or chemotherapy can become a treatment option.

What Happens During Skin Cancer and Melanoma Skin Removal Surgery?

Surgical treatment for skin cancer and melanoma depends on the size of the lesion. Most small skin cancers are removed at the biopsy stage. Other forms of skin cancer treatment are:

  • Freezing - Using liquid nitrogen, the doctor will freeze the lesion. Once the skin thaws, the dead tissue is easily removed.
  • Excisional surgery - The doctor removes the cancerous tissue and some healthy skin surrounding it by either cutting it out or shaving it off.
  • Mohs surgery - When the skin cancer is more significant, the doctor removes the skin growth layer by layer. He then examines each layer under a microscope until no abnormal cells remain.
  • Curettage and electrodesiccation - After removing most of the growth, the doctor scrapes away layers of cancer cells with a device known as a curet. He then uses an electric needle to destroy any remaining cancer cells. He may also use liquid nitrogen to freeze the edges of the treated area.
  • Laser surgery - The doctor uses a laser beam to destroy the cancer cells.
  • Lymph node biopsy and removal - In the case of melanoma, a lymph node biopsy is often necessary. Lymph nodes are notorious for receiving fluid draining from a tumor. If melanoma cells are discovered in the lymph nodes during the biopsy, lymph nodes in the surrounding area are typically removed.

What is the Recovery Like for Skin Cancer and Melanoma Skin Removal?

Your side effects and recovery time will depend on how extensive your procedure was. Even the most minimally invasive surgery can produce side effects. Typical side effects from skin cancer surgery include:

  • Pain
  • Scarring
  • Bruising or swelling
  • Numbness or other nerve damage
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fatigue
  • Lymphedema

Why Choose Dr. Daniel Gay for This Procedure?

Dr. Daniel Gay is a board-certified general surgeon in the Treasure Valley area encompassing Boise, Meridian, and Caldwell, Idaho. Dr. Gay has vast experience with skin cancers and believes in treating his patients how he would want to be treated himself. His focus is on educating his patients and providing the individualized attention that each patient deserves. If you need to schedule an appointment or would like more information about skin cancer and melanoma, contact us today.

We Accept All Major Insurance Carriers:

Blue Cross is an accepted insurance at Dr. Daniel Gay, MD Regence is an accepted insurance at Dr. Daniel Gay, MD Select Health is an accepted insurance at Dr. Daniel Gay, MD Humana is an accepted insurance at Dr. Daniel Gay, MD Medicare is an accepted insurance at Dr. Daniel Gay, MD Medicaid is an accepted insurance at Dr. Daniel Gay, MD Tricare is an accepted insurance at Dr. Daniel Gay, MD Pacific Source is an accepted insurance at Dr. Daniel Gay, MD United Healthcare is an accepted insurance at Dr. Daniel Gay, MD Aetna is an accepted insurance at Dr. Daniel Gay, MD

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Patient Testimonials

chris brooksby
I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Gay and his whole team, everyone I dealt with was very friendly and took lots of time to explain everything and make me feel comfortable with the procedure that I had scheduled. Additionally Dr. Gay spent a lot of time going over how the surgery had gone with me on my follow up appointment-I never felt like he was trying to say a few things then push me out the door so he could move on to the next patient as I have felt in other doctors offices in the past. That all being said I can’t recommend Dr. Gay and his team enough, they are fantastic! I hope I never need their services again, but if I do I know I’ll be in good hands.
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Dan Rueb
Dr. Daniel Gay is a likeable, friendly surgeon who took his time with me to answer my questions in a patient, thorough manner, explaining my options, & who offered his surgical services at the Nampa St. Luke's Hospital. I highly recommend him.
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Kelly Dawson
10 out of 10!!!! Dr. Gay and Sarah are such a beautiful blessing. I had been having intense symptoms of suspected gallbladder issues for months, but all testing was coming back normal. Because tests were coming back normal, my PCP couldn't get a surgeon to even talk to me. On month 3, she finally reached out to Dr. Gay who was graciously open to having a discussion with me and got me in quickly. He spent so much time explaining things to me & my husband in so much detail. I could immediately tell he genuinely cares for his patients, his practice, and the level of care that is provided. His standards of excellence are high. It felt so good to finally be heard. I had been suffering 4 months of intense gallbladder attacks 1-2 times a week with 2 ER visits. It was completely debilitating. After completing additional testing (which all came back normal), and my attacks becoming more intense and frequent, Dr. Gay agreed to proceed with removing my gallbladder. During the removal he found TWO gallstones that were causing the issue. It was amazing how quickly I started to feel human again. Sarah is an incredibly reliable and personable MA who took care of all my FMLA paperwork like a champ. I didn’t have to worry about a thing. Dr. Gay is such an amazing doctor (a wonderful human) and so down to earth that I felt comfortable with him right away. I have so much gratitude that he was my surgeon. You're doing great work Doc ... keep it up.
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Emily Richcreek
Appreciative of the office and staff, as well as Dr. Daniel Gay himself. Dr. Gay took time to listen and trust me as a patient and that what I was going through was legitimate. Between normal labs, scans, and tests, Dr. Gay took the time to trust what I was feeling and made an important medical decision; which greatly improved my health. In doing so I’m now pain free and feeling amazing. To the office and Dr. Gay himself, thank you for listening and thank you for the wonderful care you provided me. Also this office is amazing with children! Had my pre-k shadow tripping at my feet the whole time. They did amazing keeping him occupied and loaded on suckers. They’re all amazing.
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Glenn Mabey
Did a fine job
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Stewart Galbraith
Referred to Dr. Gay for bilateral inguinal hernia surgery. He explained the procedure well, and the follow-up appointment was also informative. Recovery has gone well, with no complications. Overall, I am very pleased with his service.
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Byl Kravetz
Start to finish, Dr. Gay and his staff were friendly and efficient. All of my questions were answered and the procedure went as smoothly as a procedure can go. Highly recommend their services.
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Dan Cunningham
I couldn’t ask for a better experience than with Dr Gay. Very happy. Not only a good surgeon but takes the time to get to know you. Very please
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Dr. Daniel Gay, Member of the Independent Doctors of Idaho