Skin Cancer Excisions

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  7. Skin Cancer Excisions

How is Skin Cancer Excision Performed?

Skin cancer excisions are routinely performed under a local anaesthetic. If the cancer is extensive, your surgeon may choose to remove it under general anaesthetic.

  • Excision involves completely cutting out the cancer along with a margin of healthy skin around it.
  • The wound is sutured Extensive wounds may require a skin graft.
  • The cancerous tissue is sent to pathology for examination.
  • The remaining tissue surrounding the cancer site may need to be examined for cancer cells. If the margin is not adequate, the surgeon will need to take a wider margin.

What to Expect After Skin Cancer Excision?

  • After the surgery, you may need to avoid immersing the wound in water.
  • Avoid strenuous activity while the wound heals.
  • Avoid activities that may stretch or tear the wound.
  • You may have sutures that need removal 7 – 10 days after surgery.
  • Your surgery may result in some scarring.

Possible Complications

The risks associated with skin cancer excision are low but include:

  • Pain at the wound site.
  • Infection including fever and discharge from the wound.
  • Wound opening.
  • Bleeding and bruising.
  • Recurrence of the cancer at the site.