Most cancerous lesions are removed with a single surgical procedure. This is done in a precise and sterile way whilst ensuring patient comfort. All our procedures are done under local anaesthetic and usually, the wound is sutured close. Most wounds are closed with a simple ellipse resulting in a straight fine white line (the scar). Larger lesions can be removed via sequential elliptical excision (to minimise the length of the scar) or closed using a flap of skin from an adjacent area. Sometimes a skin graft will be required to close a larger wound. You will be given verbal and written information to take home to ensure you know what to do to care for your wound. You will also be given the doctors private mobile number should you need to contact him. After the procedure, you will be given follow up appointments for wound reviews and suture removal. Sutures are usually removed at 1 or 2 weeks. Your results and any follow up required will be discussed with you as soon as the histology report is made available. Most skin cancers are removed with a single procedure but melanomas usually require a second procedure which is dictated by the details of the histology report.
On occasions, a partial biopsy (punch or incisional) will be undertaken to confirm the suspected diagnosis and/or the margins of the tumour prior to a formal full excision.
A shave biopsy is another technique that can also be used to aid in the diagnosis prior to a formal full excision. Shave excisions are also used to remove benign (non-cancerous) unsightly/problematic skin lesions such as skin tags and “senile warts” (seborrhoeic keratoses).
All procedures will cause some scarring but we pride ourselves on minimising this as much as possible. For those who want to “go the extra mile” to maximise wound healing our aesthetic colleagues who we work alongside have numerous technologies to facilitate the healing process and make most scars barely visible. Ideally, we would introduce you to one of our aesthetic colleagues prior to your procedure so that we can coordinate our care.