If theafter your shows that you have melanoma, you will need to return to hospital to have a further operation. This is called a and is generally done under a , but may be done under a general anaesthetic. The doctor removes a large area of healthy skin and tissue from around where the melanoma was. How much tissue you have removed depends on:
In the latest guidelines, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend that:
is usually a small operation. However, the surgeon will use stitches to close up the skin that has been removed and as a result the skin may feel tight at first but this should subside as it stretches. The surgery will leave a scar and its severity will depend on the amount of skin removed, the surgical technique and the location of the excision. The scar will be larger than the scar from the original excision.
Sometimes your surgeon needs to remove a large area of skin. This may not close directly, so an additional procedure is required to close the wound. Generally, your surgeon will try and close the area with a local flap, as it is more robust and has a better cosmetic appearance. Here, spare skin next to your wound is moved to close the wound and because it is ‘spare’ the area it came from can also be closed. If a flap is not possible then awill be required. The is taken from somewhere else on your body and used like a dressing. The graft sticks like a slow setting glue and needs to be looked after whilst it is sticking. Infection, bleeding or injury to the area can all affect how the glue sticks.
Like all surgery,of melanoma carries risks, including poor scarring, infection, bleeding, pain and numbness. More specific would be explained by your surgeon according to where the skin was removed.
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