All of the dermatology faculty are skilled in performing dermatologic surgery. Virtually every type of dermatologic surgery procedure is performed in MCG Dermatology. The program in Dermatologic Surgery is under the direction of Matthew D. Belcher, MD.
Residents training at Augusta University are exposed to more basic surgery during their first year.
In addition to general dermatologic surgery, which is performed for the removal of common skin growths, several special types of dermatologic surgery are also offered. These special types of dermatologic surgery include Mohs Micrographic Surgery, Laser Surgery, and Cosmetic Surgery.
Resident physicians work with Dr. Belcher and other faculty either assisting them with the more complicated surgical cases or, under direct faculty supervision, performing procedures they have mastered during their training. Their initial training includes instruction in performing shave biopsies, punch biopsies, and simple excisions. Towards the end of their first year, they assist in Mohs surgery. The second year resident spends an increasing amount of time in surgery clinics, doing more complicated surgical procedures. The third year resident spends a month at the time in Mohs surgery clinics, where they assist and perform the most complex skin cancer removals and cosmetic reconstructions.
The nursing staff is always available to assist the doctors and also to clean and dress the wounds, remove sutures, offer psychological support to patients and to attend to whatever needs should arise for the patients or the doctors before, during, and after surgery.
Surgical procedures are carried out in private procedure rooms and are usually performed under local or regional anesthesia. Relaxing background music is always available and serves to help calm patients' nerves and help the time go faster and more pleasantly. Occasionally, because of the need for deep sedation or general anesthesia for some cases, the surgery will be performed in one of the operating rooms in the Augusta University Surgery Center.
Dr. Belcher and his staff are always prepared to answer any questions patients may have, or to address concerns that might arise during the course of the evaluation or treatment. In many instances, appropriate literature is available to patients. This literature will explain either the nature of the patient's condition or the nature of the procedure the patient is scheduled to undergo. Written instructions are given to surgical patients for both their preparation prior to surgery and for appropriate wound care after the procedure has been completed. It is important for patients to follow these pre- and post-operative instructions fully in order to minimize any risks associated with the procedure and to maximize the chances for a successful and cosmetically acceptable outcome after the surgery is performed.