The removal of skin cancer along with some healthy tissue surrounding it (margin) is known as excision. A local anesthetic is used in this procedure to numb the site.
Once the malignant area is excised, the incision is sealed with sutures. The patient may require a skin graft or flap if the incision is large. They may also require reconstructive surgery if the excision procedure leads to a scar.
Mohs micrographic surgery differs from standard excision. Mohs surgery involves the removal of skin cancer layer-by-layer, and each layer is analyzed under a microscope promptly. In Mohs surgery, the surgeon excises the cancer cells while sparing as much healthy skin as possible.
Texas Surgical Dermatology, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Tri H. Nguyen, provides advanced skin care procedures to patients in Houston, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands, Texas, and surrounding communities.
Why it is Done
Standard excision is an effective procedure to remove basal cells and squamous cell carcinomas. However, this surgery is more effective for certain skin cancers in areas, such as the face, where it is vital to preserve as much skin as possible.
The meaning of excision is simply “to cut out.” Surgical excision helps treat non-melanoma skin cancer, and it is also known as “wide excision.” This occurs as the tumor is excised along with some normal skin surrounding it.
This healthy skin is known as a margin. The removal of margin is undertaken to eliminate any cancer cells that may have spread in the nearby tissue.
The tumor size, type, and location will determine the complexity of the excision. The most common and simplest technique to remove a tumor is known as elliptical excision. For tumor on the foot, scalp, and other tricky areas, excision and repair are more complex.
Upon excising a tumor, a pathologist studies the tissue that was taken to ensure that all cancer cells are gone.
How Well It Works
The standard excision treatment for basal cell carcinoma is below 20 mm (0.8 inches) and has cure rates as high as 95 out of 100 patients when performed with mm (0.2 inches) margins.
This technique has a cure rate of 92 out of 100 people when used to treat squamous cell carcinoma. Mostly, Mohs micrographic surgery has cure rates that are slightly higher than the cure rates of excision.
Excisions to remove skin cancers include the following risks:
- The wound may bleed, leading to pain, or become infected.
- There may be scarring.
- A skin graft may not heal.
- All cancer cells may not be eliminated, leaving a margin containing cancer cells.
Things to Remember
The edges or margins of the skin where skin cancer was eliminated will be evaluated in a laboratory by a pathologist to understand if any cancer cells still exist outside the area of the eliminated skin.
Ensuring that the entire skin cancer is removed is extremely crucial to reducing the chances of recurrence. The area of the excision and the amount of skin removed will determine the recovery from skin cancer.
Board certified dermatologist Dr. Tri H. Nguyen receives patients from Houston, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands, Texas, and nearby areas for skin treatments.
For more information on procedures and treatments offered at Texas Surgical Dermatology PA please call 832.663.6566 or click here to contact our dermatologists. Helping patients in Houston, The Woodlands, Springs, Katy and other surrounding areas of Texas.