It’s Ask Our Doctors: Specialists Edition, featuring physicians from The Most Beautiful Doctors in America calendar.
• 2013 health tip: Stay encouraged with emails!
Podiatrist Dr. Rondrick Williamson joins The Doctors to discuss common concerns about feet.
Mohs Surgery Explained
Audience member Beth says she’s concerned about a mole above her left eyebrow and asks plastic surgeon Dr. Justin Piasecki how she can tell if it’s cancerous. And, if so, will mole removal surgery leave an unsightly scar?
“The most sensitive indicator [of skin cancer] is change — size, color, bleeding with minimal trauma. And a biopsy is the key to determine whether it’s cancer or not,” Dr. Piasecki says.
If a biopsy determines your mole to be cancerous, it needs to be removed surgically. There are a number of methods for mole removal, including freezing, excisional surgery and laser surgery; however, Dr. Piasecky performs Mohs surgery, a procedure that makes maps and templates of a patient’s face before anesthesia to confirm where facial landmarks were located before any swelling or inflammation occurs. This is meant to hide scars in those landmarks where the patient expects to see a shadow, a mark or a blemish that was there prior to surgery.
“Mohs surgery has the highest cure rate and is the most tissue preserving,” Dr. Piasecki explains.
Dr. Travis adds that the earlier you get a suspicious mole checked by your doctor, the less likely you’re going to need a complicated procedure.
• A butt implant gone horribly wrong. Dr. Piasecki and plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon weigh in.
• The following clip contains graphic content and may not be suitable for minors: See the clip we couldn’t show you on the air at www.huffingtonpost.com.
From redness and bumps to hair in unwanted places, dermatologist Dr. Jeremy Green offers answers to your biggest skin concerns.
Meaghan posts to Facebook:
I’ve had rosacea for as long as I can remember and I feel like I’ve tried everything. Will any treatments get rid of it once and for all?
“Every day in the clinic I see patients with rosacea, which is flushing, redness in the skin or bumps filled with puss on the cheeks and over the nose,” Dr. Green says.
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes redness and pustules on the face. It includes the tendency to flush or blush easily and usually appears in phases. While the cause of rosacea is unknown, researchers believe it may be due to a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Eating hot or spicy foods, temperature extremes and stress, anger, or embarrassment may aggravate rosacea symptoms.
There is no known cure for rosacea, but a number of treatments exist to relieve symptoms. Dr. Green uses a new laser treatment called Excel V from Cutera, which generates a high-energy pulse to effectively treat vascular conditions that appear on the skin.
A viewer asks if it’s safe and effective to undergo laser hair removal for people with darker skin tones.
“The way that laser hair removal works is that it targets the pigment in the hair shaft. Light goes through the skin and is converted into heat to zap the hair cells,” Dr. Green explains.
Latin, African-American, Asian and other ethnic groups with darker shades of skin are often discouraged from choosing laser hair removal, as the procedure has been said to damage darker skin tones; however, this only occurs when the technician hasn’t set the proper wavelength or depth of penetration for darker-skinned patients. If proper levels are set, the skin should not suffer any damage, but it is essential to perform a test 48 to 72 hours prior to determine no adverse reactions to the laser treatment. Plus, be sure a reputable physician administers your treatment, and avoid any discount offers you see online.
“I always tell my patients it’s a good thing to buy clothes on sale, but you only have one body and you only have one skin, so treat it well,” Dr. Green adds.
Twins Dr. Vince Moss, a cardiothoracic surgeon, and Dr. Vance Moss, a urologic surgeon, take viewer questions.
Mitral Valve Prolapse
Kani says she was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse two years ago. Doctors told her she was born with the condition, but she didn’t start seeing symptoms until around the time she was diagnosed.
Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. David Greuner explains that mitral valve prolapse occurs when a valve between the heart’s left upper chamber and left lower chamber doesn’t close properly, which can sometimes cause blood to leak backward into the left atrium, a condition called mitral valve regurgitation. Symptoms vary from a racing or irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain not caused by a heart attack. It’s a fairly common condition said to be diagnosed in roughly 2 to 3 percent of the population.
Most people don’t require treatment and can lead normal, productive, symptom-free lives; however, in some cases, surgery is necessary to repair the valve.
Allergic to Anesthetic?
Help! I get weird symptoms from the anesthetic from the dentist. Will I have to go without?
Dentist Dr. Blake Julian explains that while there have been only a handful of adverse reactions to local anesthetics reported worldwide, a preservative in the anesthetic called epinephrine can potentially cause an allergic reaction.
Epinephrine is a sympathomimetic agent that works by relaxing muscles in the airways and tightening blood vessels; however, it’s very uncommon to be allergic to epinephrine, since the human body produces the chemical naturally.
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