“An excision may be necessary if a previous biopsy has been read by the pathologist as “atypical” or abnormal, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma.”

Based on a pathology report following a biopsy, an excision may be required.

Excisions are performed on abnormal, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma. The purpose of the excision is to remove the remaining abnormal tissue to eliminate the atypical nevus or cancer.

Excision can be performed on cysts to prevent infection, enlargement or for aesthetic purposes.

An excision is a minor surgery that involves the use of a local anesthetic to numb the area and removal of the skin lesion by use of a surgical scalpel. The suspicious area is removed and sutures are placed to close the wound.  Typically the wound is closed in layers.  The bottom layer is closed with stiches that dissolve over time.  The outside layers are removed days to weeks after the procedure.

On rare occasions, the wound may be repaired as follows:

  • Flap: The skin adjacent to the wound is elevated and moved to cover the defect. Flaps are typically used for larger wounds but can also be used for wounds in delicate areas, under tension, and to minimize distortion.
  • Skin graft: Skin from a different area of the body is used to cover the wound. This type of repair can take longer to heal but can provide excellent results.

Excised areas typically require stitches that will need to be removed in 7 to 10 days.

The excised area is always sent to a laboratory for pathologic evaluation and to make sure abnormal cells or cancer has been entirely removed.

During the healing process you may notice swelling or bruising around the surgical site. This is normal and typically resolves within 2 weeks.


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