About Surgical Excision
Among the most widely recommended and utilized skin cancer treatments is surgical excision. By performing this specialized technique, plastic surgeon Dr. Raj Sawh-Martinez can cut away the melanoma or malignant lesion together with a bit of the surrounding tissue, which might seem to be healthy. The excised (or taken) skin sample is then given to a pathologist for additional testing to determine whether the remaining area is cancer-free. In the event the tissue turns out to be cancerous, then a secondary treatment would be necessary to eliminate all cancer. Craniofacial & Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and Dr. Sawh-Martinez consult with Lake Mary, FL individuals on a regular basis to ascertain whether surgical excision is the correct treatment alternative for their condition. Our state-of-the-art facility utilizes skin cancer excision to remove the three most common types of lesions: melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma. Learn more about these lesions and their removal below.
A suspected skin cancer lesion may be tested and found benign, meaning it is noncancerous. These lesions do not require immediate removal. However, even noncancerous lesions can cause discomfort, become snagged on clothing, or appear unsightly, causing a patient to feel self-conscious or uncomfortable. Dr. Sawh-Martinez can remove benign lesions using careful methods to help restore confidence and minimize scarring. When a lesion is benign, the excision is often less invasive, yielding optimal aesthetic outcomes.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a lesion that grows from the basal (deepest) layer of the skin. BCC is very unlikely to metastasize beyond the growth site and very rarely becomes life-threatening. However, if left untreated, BCC can disfigure the skin and body at the area of growth. The lesions look like open sores, red patches, pink wounds, or shiny bumps. BCC is most likely caused by cumulative exposure to the sun.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer and is created by an uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells on the skin's outer layer. It can also be called cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and commonly has a scaly, red appearance. Squamous cell cancer lesions can also resemble open sores, warts, or scabs. These wounds often crust or bleed and disfigure the skin if allowed to grow. When discovered and treated in time, these lesions are not life-threatening.
Considered the most dangerous and life-threatening form of skin cancer, melanoma develops when skin cells are damaged (often by ultraviolet radiation) and are unable to self-repair, triggering a rapid multiplying of skin cells that leads to the growth of malignant tumors. The tumor begins in the pigment-producing layer of the skin, called the basal layer. Melanoma most commonly resembles brown or black moles and may even grow from an existing mole. However, they can be pink, red, purple, blue, or skin-colored.
Skin Cancer Excision Ideal Candidates
You're probably an ideal candidate for surgical excision if you have a skin cancer lesion near your legs, arms, or torso. This process is usually easier and quicker than some of the other surgical removal methods, but it may not be as cosmetically inconspicuous, which means that you could have a scar. This method is occasionally used to allow for detailed observation of skin cancer lesion so individuals in need of additional diagnostic testing will also be ideal candidates for surgical excision.
Skin Cancer Excision Surgical Technique
As this technique is considered an invasive process, anesthesia will be supplied. For smaller, easy-to-reach and remove skin lesions, a local anesthetic will be utilized. When a lesion is bigger and in a harder to reach area, general anesthesia might be deemed necessary. Before the surgery, Dr. Sawh-Martinez will thoroughly disinfect the area to be treated and administer the predetermined anesthesia. The cancer is then excised with a scalpel through horizontal incisions made throughout the lesion and surrounding tissue. An electrode may be employed to carry out a feathering process, which can smooth the borders circling the wound. This will help to eliminate additional cells from the lesion and reduce the probability of scarring.
Minor excisions will be sewn closed, while bigger excisions may necessitate a skin graft to close the wound up. A sterile badge is placed over the wound to shield and protect it while it heals. Wound care instructions will be provided to prevent infection and an oral antibiotic will likely be prescribed.
What to Expect with Skin Cancer Excision
The duration of your downtime and recovery is contingent upon the location and severity of the specific excision, in addition to whether skin grafts were needed to finish your procedure. Following your procedure, you could experience a burning sensation or general irritation in the region where the lesion was excised. For your first couple of days after the procedure, you're advised to use an over-the-counter medicine, like acetaminophen to relieve pain. You should also anticipate some scarring that will be red initially but is going to lighten with time. Different ointments or gels may be used to help limit scarring. In order to protect the healing wound, a sterile dressing should be applied to the treatment area while you are exposed to the sun.
Skin Cancer Treatment
Anytime you see a skin lesion that looks strange, you should seek medical care as quickly as possible. The lesion can be cancerous and the earlier it's found, the greater your odds are of successfully eradicating all signs of cancer. An excision will rid the area of all cancer before it begins to spread to nearby body parts and skin. The excision technique also allows cells to receive additional testing, which may confirm whether or not all of the cancer was eliminated. Schedule a consultation at Craniofacial & Aesthetic Plastic Surgery as soon as possible to see Dr. Sawh-Martinez, who will inspect the growth, talk about family and medical history, and explore all of your options, including whether surgical excision is necessary.