Dermatologist in Mission Viejo and Laguna Niguel for you
Dr. William James Tidwell
Our vision is to make a practice people look forward to coming to. I try to keep things lively with a few smiles, jokes, and some good tunes. Especially during Mohs skin cancer surgeries, I try to make sure patients are comfortable. I work meticulously and efficiently to minimize discomfort. We are here to take care of our patients and fulfill a long time passion of mine that caused me to apply for medical school years ago.
Mohs surgery is amazing. It allows you to leave the office knowing you are cancer free that day. No other method of treating skin cancer can give one that. We can also immediately perform the reconstruction so you leave that day beginning the healing. Your whole day can be done under local anesthesia or oral sedation without the need of extensive, deep general anesthesia. This reduces the risk of memory loss, large admission bills to you, complications, and the ability to breath on your own and not a machine. It can take a long time to recover from general anesthesia and you often feel unwell afterwards. Instead, we focus on minimally invasive techniques with minimal downtime that require no hospitalization.
A bit about my training background and experiences. Unique to my background is how I approach problems such as cancer, reconstruction, or a cosmetic concern is that my undergraduate degree was in chemical engineering and worked as a nuclear navy contractor to help make fuel for the fleet. This background taught me to think about how to solve problems and not simply to memorize a textbook. I believe this ability to think through complex problems and to develop novel approaches best suited for my patients. No cancer or person is the same. A cookbook approach doesn’t account for the nuances of your face. An engineering mind and a well trained skill set allows me to focus on the specific patient’s reconstruction in order to improve clinical outcome and appearance.
I attended medical school at the University of Tennessee and went on to do a residency in Dermatology in my home state of Kentucky at the University of Louisville. After that, I was fortunate enough to get accepted as a Mohs surgery fellow with Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center in La Jolla, California. There I received specialized training in Mohs Micrographic skin cancer and am now a member of the American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery. I was trained under the leader of the field for many decades, Dr. Hugh Greenway who learned from Dr. Mohs himself. A particular highlight of my surgery fellowship was the ability to participate in a team based approach to skin cancer. By working with over 10 reconstructive surgeons on faculty at Scripps, I was able to see how the best in the world repair defects following skin cancer. I’m especially appreciative of the training I received from the chair of plastic surgery, the international expert on ocular and cosmetic plastic surgeon, Dr. Salvatore Pacella.
In training, your mentors help shape you and make you into the physician you will become. One of the best I’ve had is Dr. Leland Housman, the renowned vein & heart surgeon. He has performed more vein surgeries than anyone else on the west coast. It was such an honor he let me spend a year long fellowship with him to master the treatment of painful varicose veins. At the end of my fellowship, I passed the exam to achieve my second board certification from the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine.
Most importantly while I was in San Diego, I met my now wife who moved back to Kentucky with me. After graduating from fellowship, I returned to Kentucky. Working in a more rural area helped me to gain valuable experience treating advanced skin cancers. In my time in Kentucky, I treated over 4,000 skin cancers with over 2,000 utilizing Mohs. I was able to work on enhancing my skills especially with more advanced closure techniques to reduce scarring. It was a large personal fulfillment to treat an underserved population with the advanced techniques I learned while training in California.
My wife and I then decided to relocate to Southern Orange County California. We felt the Mission Hospital Tower directly off the I 5 and 73 provides easy access to the Ladera Ranch, Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Irvine, Temecula, Aliso Viejo, San Clemente, Las Flores, Rancho Margarita, Rancho Mission Viejo areas. She is a psychologist who shares office space with me and also helps to enrich our office environment with her soft touch and compassionate care. I know that you have a lot of wonderful options when it comes to skin and vein care in this area, but I hope that you will consider giving us a try. We want to take care of you. Call us today to make an appointment.
Basal Cell Carcinoma of the Groin and Buttocks: A Clinical and Histological Analysis of a Rare Presentation of a Common Tumor.
Tidwell WJ, Sutton A, Gilbertson R, Humberson C, Greenway H. Int J Dermatol. 2019 May 9. PMID: 31073994.