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Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are types of skin cancer found on the outer layer of the skin; they can usually be found in areas exposed to the sun and they are very common.
Fortunately, basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma are treatable. There is a variety of options we can use to remove them. One such procedure is the standard excision, which is found to be one of the most effective methods for cancer cell removal.
What is Excision Surgery?
Excisional surgery is often performed to remove cancer cells from parts of your body like the torso, arms, and upper legs. Moreover, melanoma that has not yet spread beyond the skin can also be treated by this procedure. Smaller tumors on the trunk and extremities whether benign – such as cysts and lipomas – or malignant, may be removed and immediately repaired at our office.
The procedure includes the removal of cancerous tissue along with a certain amount of healthy tissue surrounding it. Excision surgery has a very high cure rate for 95% of patients if the cancer is detected early.
Before the procedure starts, we will first determine whether the area to be operated on is the correct one and we will do so by comparing previous biopsy reports to clinical photographs. Afterward, we will then use ink to carefully mark the area to be treated around the skin lesion.
A portion of healthy skin – called the margin – is also marked to be removed along with the lesion or skin cancer. In order to numb the skin completely, we administer an anesthetic so you won’t feel any pain.
The excision outline is commonly in the shape of a football and using a scalpel and scissors, we will remove the marked portion of the skin surrounding the lesion. In this way, skin cancer is removed completely and in most cases, can be prevented from spreading to other parts of the body.
Advantages of Excisional Surgery
There are many advantages to excision surgery compared to other procedures for basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma removal. The first and most important advantage is that the cure rate for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cells carcinoma is extremely high – between 92% and 95% – with excision surgery. It is an effective and quick technique as the surgery can usually be completed in one session.
Another advantage of surgical excision is that the cancerous area or the excised tissue is sent to the laboratory after the procedure and examined to determine whether all cancer cells have been removed, and if the margins of the wound are cancer free.
With the excellent surgical techniques that we possess, we will ensure that any risks associated with the procedure, such as bleeding, pain, infection, or scarring are minimized.
Excision surgery does create a larger wound to ensure that all cancer cells are removed, and that the surrounding tissue of the lesion is cancer-free. The recovery period usually takes up to two weeks, although the wound healing process may vary depending on the size of the area treated.
The technique used to repair the wound may also affect the healing process, therefore, we do our best to efficiently repair the wound to shorten the recovery time. If stitches are used, they are usually removed 1-2 weeks after the procedure. However, if stitches or sutures cannot be used in certain parts of the body, a skin flap or a skin graft will be used to repair the wound.