When it comes to skin cancer, surgical excisions are often the most recommended treatment. Simply put, excision is the surgical removal of tissue, whether with a scalpel or a laser. Typically, excisions are outpatient procedures. A surgeon will administer a local anesthetic (meaning you’re not asleep during the procedure, but the area is totally numbed) and then cut away the cancerous or precancerous lesion. If you have a skin lesion, it will be biopsied (a small piece cut out) and that tissue sample will then be sent to a lab to be examined for cancerous cells. Depending on the size of the lesion removed, recovery time after excision is usually swift.
At the Skin Cancer and Cosmetic Surgery Center of NJ, we have extensive experience performing excisions. Dr. Adriana Lombardi has worked at the highest levels in the field of dermatology and will discuss an appropriate treatment plan for your specific excision needs in our state-of-the-art Edison, NJ, facility.
There are three types of skin cancer and screening for them is vital: Basal Cell, Squamous Cell, and Melanoma.
- Basal Cell is considered the least aggressive out of the three. This cancer, if detected early is generally manageable and if removed appropriately, should pose limited risks.
- Squamous Cell is significantly more aggressive and has much wider margins than basal, which means it has the tendency to be invasive in the surrounding tissue. Early detection is critical in managing the full removal of this cancerous lesion.
- Melanoma is by far the most serious type of cancer and if not detected early enough, has the potential to metastasize and spread through the body by way of the lymphatic system.
How often should I have my skin checked for potentially cancerous lesions?
You should have your skin fully examined at least once per year.
If my dermatologist feels that I may have something suspicious on my skin, what happens next?
The doctor will biopsy the lesion or growth and send it to a pathology lab for a diagnosis
What if the diagnosis comes back positive?
Your doctor will excise the cancerous growth as completely as possible to prevent its spread. From there your doctor will explain the next steps as each and every case is different.
What is the lesion is on my face? Will I have a large scar?
If the lesions that are to be removed are somewhere on the body that is openly visible, MOHs surgery will be recommended. (see MOHS for further detail)