DR DOCRAT’S SURGICAL EXPERTISE
EXCISION OF SKIN AND SOFT TISSUE LESIONS
Skin lesion excision is a procedure in which Dr Docrat removes a suspicious skin lesion or growth, which may or may not be cancerous.
WHY MIGHT I NEED SURGERY?
Many types of benign skin growths and spots may look precancerous and like malignant tumours and thus may be removed as a precaution, and for a biopsy.
Those diagnosed or suspected of having skin cancer will be referred for surgical excision. Surgical excision may thus be done for skin cancers such as basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer or melanoma, but may also be done to remove soft tissue lesions.
Tumours of soft tissue are very often benign, the most common such as lipomas which are growths of fatty tissue and can be found on any part of the body. Nonetheless, those with such growths should undergo biopsy to exclude malignancy.
WHAT DOES THIS SURGERY ENTAIL?
Surgical excision of skin and soft tissue lesions may be done as a precaution, or as part of skin cancer treatment. Although surgical excision for lower-risk tumours may be performed in a doctor's office, more complex tumours need to be treated in the hospital under general anaesthesia. You will not need to go under anaesthetic for this procedure, instead the affected area is numbed with a local anaesthetic. Your surgeon will then make a small incision to cut the tumour out. A small margin of the surrounding skin is also removed. The removed lesion is then sent to the laboratory to test for the presence of cancerous cells. The incision is then closed with stitches.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER SURGERY?
Some patients will be able to go home the day of the surgery, while others may have to stay overnight. If your skin lesion was sent for further testing you will be contacted once the results from the laboratory are available. In the meantime, your surgeon will ask you to keep the excision site dry for 24 hours, and she will provide you with instructions about when to remove or change the bandage.
How noticeable your scar will be after the removal of the lesion will depend on the size and placement of the lesion that was removed. While it is healing, you should keep the site covered when you are in bright sunlight to prevent permanent darkening of the scar due to sunburn.