Home | Surgical Dermatology | Skin Cancer Excision

If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, it can be nerve-wracking and stressful. We fully understand this, which is why we take the time to thoroughly explain the skin cancer excision process. Excision is performed to remove skin cancer cells. Our dermatologists are highly skilled in skin cancer excision and removal, which is why we don’t give up until all of the skin cancer is removed.

What is Skin Cancer Excision?

A skin cancer excision is done to treat melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancers. During excision, the skin cancer is removed, along with some of the healthy tissue that surrounds it. We will then send your excised tissue to a lab, which will check to ensure that all remaining cancer cells have been removed. Our main goal is to totally eliminate skin cancer from your body for a healthy and happy you.

Who is a Good Candidate for Skin Cancer Excision?

Individuals who have melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancers can benefit from skin cancer excision.

What to Expect During Skin Cancer Excision?

During your skin cancer excision, your skin will be numbed with a local anesthetic. The complexity of the excision will depend on the size, type, and location of the tumor. The most common technique used to excise a tumor is through a technique called an elliptical excision.  First, your dermatologist will draw a margin around the tumor. The margin will be based on how deep the tumor is. An elliptical shape will then be cut around the margin, which produces a better-looking scar. The incision will then be closed with stitches, leaving you with a scar that resembles a flat, thin line.

For more complex areas such as the face, scalp, ear, fingers, foot, or toes, it may not be possible to stretch the skin over the excision site to close it. In these cases, a repair procedure using skin grafts or flaps may be needed.

Following your skin cancer excision, your skin cell sample will be sent to a laboratory to ensure that all of the cancer cells were removed from your body. If your results read that there are still cancer cells that extend to the edge of your sample, you will need additional treatment to remove all of the cancer cells. Your dermatologist will speak with you regarding possible next steps.

Skin Cancer Excision Recovery

It is important to keep the incision site dry for 24 hours, keep it protected and covered from sunlight. Be sure to follow your dermatologist’s instructions on how to remove or change your bandage, and what medications you can take for discomfort. Most patients will have a scar at the incision site following surgery.

Skin Cancer FAQs

At what age does skin cancer typically occur?

Usually, basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma occurs in patients who are over age 50. The average age for a melanoma diagnosis is 65.

Can a dermatologist tell if you have skin cancer?

Yes, a dermatologist can determine whether you have skin cancer after a visual exam and biopsy.

Can a dry patch of skin be cancer?

Dry patches of skin may be squamous cell carcinoma or actinic keratosis. Visit your dermatologist if you have a persistent dry patch, especially if it oozes, crusts, or changes in appearance over time.

Can a skin cancer look like a pimple?

Basal cell carcinoma can look like a pimple, scar, or sore. Your dermatologist can help diagnose the issue and determine whether it is skin cancer.

Can you have skin cancer for years and not know?

It’s possible for skin cancer to grow undetected for many years. Some patients have skin cancer for up to 10 years or more before they are diagnosed. Early treatment is important, so you should always perform regular skin checks.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer and would like to schedule a skin cancer excision appointment, contact our office today. We will be happy to schedule your appointment, as well as answer any questions you may have.

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