What is Surgical Excision?
Sometimes cancerous lesions are best removed by surgical excision, particularly small skin cancers on the arms, legs and trunk. Although this common method for dealing with skin cancer has a slightly higher rate of recurrence than Mohs surgery, it is generally a quicker and easier procedure for small cancers in less cosmetically or functionally important areas. It entails the surgical removal of the cancer, plus an extra amount of normal appearing skin surrounding it (called the margin). While the general purpose of the procedure is removing the cancer or lesion, the process can also be used to biopsy areas which look suspicious. At Skin Cancer Consultants in Dallas, TX, our extensively skilled team led by board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Thornwell Parker, well assess your situation and determine if excision is the best method for your skin cancer removal.
"Great experience. Dr Parker and staff made me feel at ease when getting four skin cancers removed off my face. Scars barely visible. So thankful my Dermatologist recommended Dr. Parker. Highly recommend."- D. . / Wellness / Feb 17, 2016
"All the staff was very professional."- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Oct 12, 2017
"Dr. Parker is excellent!"- B.M. / Google / Oct 08, 2017
"The best of the best! He came highly recommended by a doctor we have great respect for and he certainly was correct. Dr Parker has taken perfect care on all four visits for Ralph."- A.W. / Google / Sep 10, 2017
"I was diagnosed with 2 basal cell carcinomas requiring Mohs surgery by a dermatologist in McKinney. One was on my face and the other on my leg. I researched plastic surgeons specializing in Mohs surgery and found Dr. Parker. I had my surgery 2 weeks ago. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. Dr. Parker and his whole staff were very encouraging, caring and talked me through every step of the process. I felt very safe and comfortable and never felt I was being rushed. He took the time to explain everything he was going to do and gave me time to ask any questions. Other than a little prick from the initial numbing shots, I felt no discomfort. My incisions were bandaged and I went back the next day for sutures. Each incision required 14 stitches. His nurse explained exactly how to care for them. 1 week later I went back to have the sutures removed and they were covered with steri strips. While I was there, I asked for a full body check, as I didn't feel my original dermatologist had done a thorough check. Dr. Parker found 2 more suspicious spots, 1 was precancerous which he removed all of with the biopsy scrape and another on my back was basal cell which I will be going back for another surgery. So thankful he checked me thoroughly, checking from my scalp to between my toes. Dr. Parker will now be my dermatologist. I can't recommend them highly enough!"- C.A. / Yelp / Aug 13, 2017
The Surgical Process
Essentially, excision is a way of describing how a scalpel is utilized to cut out the entire lesion. It is frequently used for various abnormalities such as cysts, warts, moles, and carcinomas. The resulting wound is usually closed for healing with the appropriate number of stitches or sutures. Meanwhile, the excised sample is delivered to a lab to be examined on a cellular level to confirm that all the cancerous cells have been removed. If results show that not to be the case, another excision may be necessary as soon as possible to remove the remnant cancer. Our plastic surgeons are authorities in excisional surgery and will be happy to go over any questions you may have.
What to Expect
Before most skin cancer excisions, patients have undergone a biopsy sampling a suspicious spot and showing cancer when examined with the microscope by the pathologist, most often indicating basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or melanoma. Cysts and benign growths may also be removed with this method to prevent infections, enlargements, or even for cosmetic purposes. To begin the procedure, the area will be cleaned and numbed with typically a small amount of lidocaine in the affected area. After feeling has been neutralized, the lesion is excised and sutures will be used to close the wound. The closure is usually done in layers. The lower layer is closed with dissolving stitches to reduce strain on the outer dermis, which is closed with stitches that are removed in days or a couple weeks.
Keep pressure on the bandage for up to 48 hours and before removing it. Take care not to get the site wet. After two days, you may get it wet in a shower, but gently wash only with Cetaphil or mild soap and water. Post cleansing, coat the wound with Aquaphor ointment, available over the counter, and then re-cover the site with gauze and paper tape or a Band-aid. Our Skin Cancer Consultants staff will advise you on the use of antibiotic ointments and when to return for suture removal, usually within two weeks. To expedite the healing process, do not engage in any activities that put stress on your wound for up to six weeks.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $900 - $2,000
- Recovery Time
- 1-2 weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 30-60 minutes
- Post-op Follow-up
- 5-7 days
- Procedure Recovery Location
Remove the Worry
Our skilled team of medical professionals provides industry-leading solutions and treatments for all types of skin cancers. If it is determined that an excision is an ideal treatment for your skin cancer removal, rest assured that you will be in the company of experts every step of the way — from the initial consultation to the final days of healing, patiently guiding you through each step. With complete care from Skin Cancer Consultants, you will have confidence that you are receiving some of the best care in the country. To discuss your concerns and the possibility of scheduling a consultation, give our office a call today.