Meet Dr. Rajiv Nijhawan
Skin cancer specialist in Dallas
Rajiv Nijhawan, M.D., specializes in treating all types of skin cancer quickly and effectively, providing the best functional and cosmetic outcomes possible for each patient.
Because there’s such a high volume of skin cancer in Texas, Dr. Nijhawan often performs Mohs surgery, a specialized technique for skin cancers.
“Mohs micrographic surgery offers the highest cure rate for most skin cancers,” Dr. Nijhawan says. “We can treat skin cancers in delicate areas, such areas on the face and neck, and examine all the edges of the skin and the entire depth to make sure that the entire skin cancer has been completely removed.”
Mohs surgery is most commonly used for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, but it can also be used for early, noninvasive melanomas as well as many rare skin tumors.
As part of the process of removing the skin cancer, Dr. Nijhawan also designs a reconstruction strategy – almost always performed the same day once the skin cancer has been completely removed – to optimize function and appearance while providing a healing time that is as quick and painless as possible.
Because patients aren’t under general anesthesia for Mohs surgery, Dr. Nijhawan and his team are able to talk to them and make them comfortable during the procedure.
“We’re able to hear their stories,” he says. “It doesn’t feel like work if you’re having fun and you know you’re making a difference.”
Dr. Nijhawan also performs a range of other surgical techniques to remove skin cancers, and he takes great interest in teaching these techniques to residents and fellows. In addition, when necessary for challenging cases, he consults with colleagues in other specialties to ensure the patient is receiving the best possible care.
He’s currently helping to develop a new high-risk skin cancer clinic focused on patients who have had an organ transplant.
“People with organ transplants are at a much higher risk for skin cancer because of the anti-rejection medications they take that are suppressing their immune systems,” Dr. Nijhawan says. “For some, it’s not a matter of if they’re going to get skin cancer; it’s a matter of when.”
Dr. Nijhawan and his colleagues are collecting data on transplant patients to contribute to a nationwide study that will help improve screening and treatment for skin cancer in transplant recipients. He’s pleased to be developing a dedicated clinic at UT Southwestern that will provide these patients with easy, rapid access to vigilant care.
“If you’re diagnosed with skin cancer, we’re going to do everything possible to make sure that it’s treated quickly and effectively, with a positive functional and cosmetic result,” he says. “We have an amazing team of physicians, nurses, and technicians, all of whom have the same goal of providing the utmost care for every patient we see.”