Skin lesions that may require surgical removal are cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions.
The following are the main types of surgery used to remove/examine skin lesions.
Excision / Wide Area Excision / Re-Excision
These terms describe surgical removal of a skin lesion (it is called 're-excision' as it follows the initial excision biopsy). A 'margin' of healthy tissue around the site of the lesion is removed at the same time to make certain all abnormal cells are removed. Larger lesions require larger margins.
This surgical technique is employed where the tissue removed is too large a segment for the skin on either side to be sewn together. A section of skin next to the site of the lesion is removed and is fashioned so it covers the site of the lesion. The benefit of this approach is that it preserves the 'look and feel' of the skin. It also results in faster recovery, as the original blood supply remains in place.
This is where a sample of skin is removed and analysed to discover if it contains cancer cells. This is commonly done in one of two ways...
- Punch - a small circle of skin is excised
- Excision - where the lesion and some of the surrounding healthy tissue are excised (removed) with a surgical blade