What is a Surgical Excision?
Among the most common melanoma, skin cancer solutions are surgical excision. By using this procedure, Dr. GeorgineNanos will cut away the melanoma or malignant lesion together with the surrounding tissue, which may appear to be healthy. The excised (or cut) skin tissue is then passed to a pathologist for additional testing, called a biopsy, to ascertain whether or not the remaining area is cancer-free. In the event the tissue turns out to be cancerous, another procedure would be required to eliminate all cancer. Kind Health Group and Dr. Nanos consult with our Encinitas, CA individuals on a regular basis to ascertain whether surgical excision is the right treatment choice for their melanoma skin cancer.
What Is a Skin Biopsy?
Doctors and dermatologists the world over use biopsies to detect the presence of skin cancer and other forms of cancer. At Kind Health Group, if deemed necessary, Dr. Nanos performs excision biopsies to remove potentially cancerous cells and then sends the sample off for testing. In a biopsy, Dr. Nanos will remove the mole, growth, or freckle in question with a scalpel. That sample is then sent to a lab, where the presence or absence of cancer cells can be detected. A skin biopsy procedure for a small mole or lesion is usually very quick and easy unless the treatment area is larger or in a hard-to-reach body area. Dr. Nanos will start by cleaning the treatment area. Then she will numb it with a local anesthetic. She will cut away the affected skin, and depending on the size of the sample, one or two stitches may be needed before she dresses it with a sterile bandage. It can typically take up to seven days to two weeks to get the results of a skin biopsy.
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You're probably a candidate for surgical excision if you have skin cancer near your torso, arms, or legs. This process is usually easier and faster than other surgical removal techniques but is not as cosmetically inconspicuous, meaning you may have a scar. This technique is sometimes utilized to allow for thorough observation of skin cancer lesions, so those in need of further diagnostic testing with a biopsy may also be candidates for surgical excision.
Our Surgical Excision Technique
As this technique is an invasive process, anesthesia will be given. For smaller, easier-to-remove and reach melanomas, a local anesthetic will be administered. If melanoma is larger and in a harder-to-reach location, general anesthesia could be required. Prior to surgery, Dr. Nanos will thoroughly clean the treatment area and administer anesthesia. The cancer is then removed using a scalpel and horizontal cuts around the lesion and surrounding tissue. An electrode can be used to carry out a feathering process, which can smooth the borders circling the wound. This helps to remove extra cells from the lesion and minimizes the likelihood of scarring.
Small excisions can be stitched closed, while larger excisions may need a skin graft to close up the wound. A solution will be implemented to the treated area to stop any bleeding, as well as an antibiotic will be prescribed to accelerate the healing time. Lastly, a sterile badge is placed over the wound to shield it and keep it from becoming infected. The removed skin is then sent to a lab for a biopsy to detect whether or not cancer cells are present.
What to Expect
The length of your recovery and downtime could vary depending on the location and size of the particular excision, as well as whether skin grafts were required to complete your procedure. After your procedure, you may experience a burning sensation or general discomfort in the region where the melanoma was excised. For your first few days following the procedure, you're advised to use an over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen to relieve pain. You should also expect some scarring that will be red at first but will lighten with time. Various ointments or gels may be utilized to help lighten the scar. To protect the wound, a bandage should be placed on the treatment site when in the sun.
Whenever you encounter a skin lesion that appears abnormal, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. The lesion could be cancerous, and the sooner it's discovered, the better your odds of survival. An excision might be warranted and will remove all of the cancer before it begins to spread to nearby body parts and skin. Excision also allows a biopsy to be performed, which may confirm whether or not all of the cancer was eliminated. Make an appointment at Kind Health Group as soon as you can to see Dr. Nanos, who will analyze the expansion, discuss family and medical history, and explore all of the options, including if surgical excision is the right treatment for you.