What is Surgical Excision?
Baton Rouge plastic surgeon, Dr. Erick Sanchez, consults with patients to determine if an abnormal skin growth is cancerous, and if it is in appropriate area to perform an outpatient surgical excision. With this procedure, Dr. Sanchez will remove the cancerous growth, along with the bordering tissue, which may appear to be normal. The excised tissue is then sent to a pathologist for additional testing to determine if the skin is cancer-free. If the tissue proves to be cancerous, another procedure would be needed to remove all the cancer. The highly skilled Dr. Sanchez, at our Central Louisiana location, expertly performs surgical excisions for small or large growths on the skin.
Surgical excision is an invasive procedure, and anesthesia will be given. If a lesion is larger and in a more difficult location, general anesthesia would be required. Before the surgery, the doctor will thoroughly sanitize the treatment area and administer anesthesia. The cancer will first be removed using a scalpel with horizontal cuts around the lesion, including the surrounding healthy tissue.
Minor excisions can be sutured closed. With larger excisions, a skin graft or flap may be needed. Then, medications will be applied to stop any bleeding and an antibiotic ointment to accelerate the healing process. Lastly, a sterile badge will be applied to shield the wound from infection.
What to Expect
As a local anesthesia is applied for surgical excision, a patient should not feel pain throughout the procedure, however, an uncomfortable pushing sensation maybe felt as the cuts are being made. Surgery time is dependent on the patient’s health, how large the melanoma is at the time of the surgery, and location of the growth on the body. If the melanoma is deep within the skin, a wider border of the healthy skin is taken. It is also possible that the doctor may remove fat and tissue from underneath the melanoma.
After the Excision
Following the surgery, the patient may be advised to take an over-the-counter medication to lessen pain (a burning sensation or general discomfort in the area where the cancer was removed). Patients can also expect some scarring and redness for the first few weeks, but over time, it will fade. Plus, there are creams or gels that can be applied to help lighten the scar. We recommend placing a bandage on the treatment site before going outside in the sun to protect the wound. Recovery and downtime generally depends on the extent of the excision and the location of the treatment.
Excise Your Melanoma Safely
If you encounter a growth on the skin that appears to be atypical, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible. As the growth could be cancerous, an excision may be warranted. This type of surgery can remove all of the cancer before it spreads to surrounding skin or other body parts, and it allows for cells to undergo further testing to confirm that all cancer has been removed. Meet with a trained medical professional to examine the growth, provide your personal medical and family history and discuss if a surgical excision is appropriate.