Skin Excision

When dealing with abnormal or cancerous areas of skin, Dr. Barnard or Melinia may recommend an excision of the identified area. This is the removal of abnormal or cancerous tissue as well as some of the healthy surrounding tissue to allow for a clean margin. This procedure does differ from MOHS Micrographic Surgery where one layer at a time is excised and examined under a microscope immediately. A standard excision works very well to remove basal and squamous cell carcinomas.

Risks of using excision to remove skin cancers include the following:

  • The wound may bleed, cause pain, or become infected.
  • Scarring may occur.
  • A skin graft may not heal.
  • All cancer cells may not be removed, leaving a margin that has cancer cells.

The edges (margins) of the skin where a skin cancer was removed will be examined in a lab by a pathologist to see whether any cancer cells still remain outside the area of skin that was removed. It is extremely important that the entire skin cancer be removed to reduce the risk of recurrence. Dr. Barnard and Melinia will discuss all options with you prior to scheduling your procedure should it be recommended.