Surgical excision refers to cutting out the skin cancer with a margin of surrounding normal skin.
To reduce the chance of recurrence of the skin cancer, a complete cancer excision with the recommended margin is required. The margin required depends on the type of skin cancer.
Skin cancer excision is performed as a local anaesthetic awake procedure in the rooms or under asleep under general anaesthesia in a hospital.
Every piece of tissue removed is placed into a specimen container for analysis at a pathology laboratory.
It takes 2 to 3 days for a pathology result to be returned to the doctor.
The doctor will then discuss the results with you. Treatment may either be complete or further treatment may be necessary.
Following excision closure is achieved in a few different ways.
A) Flap Repair
A flap is performed when the skin excision does not allow for the skin edges to be sutured closed or if excision is in a cosmetically sensitive area where distortion will occur with direct closure. A flap repair utilises excess adjacent skin and moves it around to fill the excision thereby minimising tightness or distortion. The flap has its own blood supply. The wound will not be straight and there will be more suture lines. The scars will not be straight lines and in many cases will eventually blend into skin crease lines.
B) Direct closure
C) Skin Graft
Following skin cancer excision every piece of tissue removed is placed into a specimen container for analysis at a pathology laboratory.
It takes 2 to 3 days for a pathology result to return to the clinic.
If skin cancer excision is completely removed further treatment is usually not required. In some cases, depending on the type of skin cancer and the amount of excision further treatment may be required.
If further treatment is required (further surgery, Radiotherapy or investigations) your doctor will discuss options with you once the pathology tests have been finalised.
Your doctor will also discuss scar management and follow up skin checks.