July 3, 2003
Welcome to the 11th issue of my ezine. This is intended to be a free and a fun way to learn about plastic surgery. I am still overwhelmed by the tremendous number of questions I keep receiving. Once again, I picked out a few that I think are interesting and let you see how I answered them. I again thank everyone for their interest and ideas. Keep emailing your questions…
THANKS AGAIN– our Yahoo Store has far exceeded our expectations and we want to thank everyone for their support!
Our first question is from JS:
Email Question – I have a question regarding the process of removing moles from the skin. If you do it by breaking up the pigmentation, my concern is, how do you know if this is a non-cancerous or cancerous mole? Can it later become cancerous? And if the pigmentation from the mole is removed and it became cancerous you wouldn’t see the signs (odd shape, darkening, etc) and thus the cancer could spread and kill you. Can you expand on this?? I’m confused on what determines whether its safe or not. Thanks!!
Email Answer – Laser breaks up the pigmentation. We only do this if we do not think it is cancer!! Any mole or lesion can become cancer at a later time if sun damage, genetics etc. are predisposing factors. You should do skin screening every month for the rest of your life! Skin cancer is very common. It is one of the biggest epidemics of our time. If you live long enough, practically everyone gets it!
Clinical judgment is what determines how safe it is. You still need to be vigilant about follow up exams, though. That responsibility falls primarily on the patient ie you.
Don't forget, not every mole can be “lasered” to begin with. Only your doctor can make this determination. Check out our site for more information on moles as well as the patient pictures (removal by laser or surgery). Thanks for your question.
Our next question is from RW:
Email Question – I would like more information about keloid removal at your center. How often have you performed this procedure and with what results? I have two keloids (left side of face near jawbone and on chest across breast bone), which have grown slowly over several years and are now a terrible nuisance. I’m considering surgical removal by your staff, but would like to know what steps are followed to prevent recurrence. Thank you in advance for your help.
Email Answer - It is hard to answer your question without examining your keloids. I did 6 months of my plastic surgery fellowship at Cook County and have done a ton of keloids. They come in all shapes and sizes and can occur in all areas. There are some newer techniques and things we do to prevent recurrence. Two of the most recent advances are 5-FU injections and Retin-A before and after surgery. I would really need to see your keloids, though, to give you my recommendations. Also, I do not know what other treatments you have tried, like steroid injections, excision, radiation etc. Usually, insurance covers the consultation and procedure.
Please check out our site at for more keloid information. Thanks for your question.
AGAIN, thank you all for your questions!
Thinking of visiting a plastic surgeon??
I think a great place for you to start is the 7 critical questions on our site at http://www.prplastic.com/7_critical_questions_to_ask_any_plastic_surgeon.htm. These are the things you should look for in your selection process. I think they will be helpful.
The ASPS site at www.plasticsurgery.org will also give you a list of board certified plastic surgeons in your area.
I am always available if you decide you would ever want a consultation with me. I frequently see patients from out of town and we try to make special provisions.
Remember, no other plastic surgeon I know has ever had an ezine. They don't know how to tell others about what they do, what they should ask other surgeons etc. Some have a boring stuffy newsletter that is preprinted and they just add their name or something. This is not like that! You will not find useless stuff intended to get you to come in and see me and spend money in my office. Just help. And meaningful information.
Remember, knowledge is power.
By the way, I hope you are having a great summer. I hope you all have fun but stay healthy…
Email me – ask whatever you want. You are the ones that will help make this ezine fun and exciting. What do you want to know?? Ask anything! Ask away…
Dr. Sam Speron
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon
P.S. I want everyone to remember I’m doing this for you. I want everyone to become a well-informed consumer. But, I also want it to be easy and fun to read. I want you to look forward to getting it. Email me. What’s boring? What’s exciting to you? Let me know. You are the heart and soul of this newsletter. Are we still having fun??