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SKIN CANCER

What is a skin lesion excision?

A lesion (or diseased skin) may be a skin cancer, which is at risk of damaging normal skin and other surrounding structures.  To prevent the lesion from extending, it will need to be removed and examined under a microscope. 

 A skin excision is the process of cutting out the lesion and a small segment of surrounding normal skin (margin). 

Please advise the doctor if you take Garlic, Aspirin or Warfarin as these will need to be stopped.


What does it involve?

Skin excisions are usually done under local anaesthetic.  A local anaesthetic is an injection that numbs an area of skin so that you do not feel pain during the procedure.  The local anaesthetic will not make you sleepy.  Sometimes a mild sedative will be given to relax. 

 Upon removal of the lesion, the gap (or defect) that is left in the skin is then closed.  There are a number of techniques used to close the defect.  If it is a small defect, then the surgeon will cut an ellipse around the lesion, remove the lesion and then stitch the two edges of the ellipse together to form a straight-line scar.  If the defect is large, the surgeon will have to use a skin graft or flap.  This involves taking skin from another area (donor site) and stitching it over the defect.  The defect in the donor site is stitched up, whilst aiming to minimise scarring.


After the procedure

The wound should heal in less than one week.  The wound will start off red and then with time, the scar will improve.  A follow-up appointment should be made with Dr Warrier.  Leave the dressing in tact and dry unless otherwise advised. 


Complications of skin excision

  1. Infection
  2. Bleeding
  3. Skin graft/flap failure

 Infection or bleeding can occur in any operation.  If you notice increasing redness, pain or a lump or if you are feeling unwell, then please contact your doctor.  You may have an infection.  A simple wound infection can be treated with a course of antibiotics.  If it is more severe, then you may need to go to hospital.

If the skin graft/flap fails, then it may be necessary to do another operation.

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Dr Warrier, Surgery, Laparoscopy, Colonoscopy,  Endoscopy   Dr Warrier, Surgery, Laparoscopy, Colonoscopy,  Endoscopy