Surgical Excision

Surgical excision is a procedure that removes various skin concerns through the process of cutting away the affected area, as well as the healthy tissue surrounding it, which is known as the margin. The removal of the margin is to ensure all cancer cells are eliminated, which may have spread into the surrounding tissue.  

What is Surgical Excision?

Surgical excision is a medical procedure involving the removal of tissue through a surgical incision, commonly used to extract abnormal growths or tumors. The excised tissue is often sent for further examination, such as biopsy, to determine its nature. In dermatology, this method is frequently employed for removing skin lesions like moles, cysts, and skin cancers.

The procedure, conducted under local anesthesia, entails a precise incision around the lesion to ensure complete removal with a margin of healthy tissue. Following excision, the incision is closed with stitches, and the extracted tissue is sent to a laboratory for analysis.

What are the Benefits of Surgical Excision

Surgical excision is a precise and effective method for removing abnormal tissues, commonly utilized in dermatology for skin lesions. This procedure, often performed under local anesthesia, ensures accurate diagnosis through a biopsy of the excised tissue. With a customized approach considering lesion characteristics, it proves particularly effective in treating skin cancers.

Offering immediate results and low recurrence rates, surgical excision addresses concerns promptly. Surgeons prioritize aesthetic outcomes by minimizing scarring, making it a reliable approach for the removal of growths with both diagnostic and therapeutic benefits.

How a Board-certified Dermatologist Can Help?

Our board-certified dermatologists often recommend excision surgery for more aggressive types of skin cancer, such as melanoma.

Surgical Excision FAQs

The excision surgery itself should not be painful, as your provider will likely numb the area with local anesthesia before the procedure. However, you may experience some swelling, soreness, or pain following the procedure. Your provider may recommend icing the area and taking pain medication to minimize any discomfort you may have. 

Our dermatologists find that most excision wounds heal in about one to three weeks following the procedure. If a skin graft or flap was required to close the wound, the healing process may take up to two months to completely heal.

Yes, surgical excision often leaves a scar, which is typically the size of the incision. Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about how the scar may look and how to care for your incision after the procedure to minimize scarring.

What to Expect at Your Surgical Excision Appointment

At a surgical excision appointment, your dermatologist will conduct a thorough consultation to assess the lesion and discuss the procedure. You'll receive detailed explanations of the surgical excision steps, potential risks, and outcomes. After obtaining informed consent, local anesthesia will be administered for comfort.

The dermatologist will precisely remove the lesion, including a margin of healthy tissue, followed by closure with stitches. Postoperative care guidelines, including wound care and activity restrictions, will be provided, and follow-up appointments may be scheduled as needed. Throughout the appointment, the dermatologist prioritizes your comfort, information, and readiness for a successful surgical excision experience.

How to Prepare for Surgical Excision

Prepare for your dermatology surgical excision by attending a pre-procedure consultation to discuss the reasons for the procedure and address any concerns. Provide a detailed medical history, including allergies and medications. Wear comfortable clothing, especially if the lesion is in an accessible area. Arrange for transportation if sedation affects your ability to drive.

Follow specific pre-procedure instructions from your dermatologist, which may include adjusting medications or skincare routines. Take the opportunity during the consultation to ask questions about the procedure and postoperative care.

Planning for Recovery after Surgical Excision

Plan for a smooth recovery post-dermatological surgical excision by strictly following post-procedure instructions. Adhere to prescribed wound care, take pain medications as directed, and observe activity restrictions. Protect the incision from sun exposure with recommended sunscreen. Monitor for signs of infection and attend all scheduled follow-up appointments for proper monitoring. Maintain a healthy lifestyle with adequate hydration, nutrition, and rest to support the recovery process.