Local Excision

What is it?

Local excision is where the abnormal mole or area of skin (and a small amount of normal skin around the area) will be removed (‘excised’) and sent to a laboratory for testing.  The excision is a relatively simple operation performed under local anaesthetic by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. A pathologist will look at this tissue under a microscope and make a diagnosis.  The analysis of the biopsy typically takes two weeks and therefore there will be a short wait after the biopsy before the diagnosis is known.

Risks and side effects

Like all surgery, excision of melanoma carries risks, including poor scarring/cosmetic appearance, wound infection, scar opening up, bleeding and numbness.  As this is usually a small procedure, these risks are often minimal.

More information on local excision can be found here.

Values you may wish to consider during treatment

    • How important is it to you to know the risk of your melanoma and its prognosis?
    • Do you want the treatment that is most likely to leave your daily life unaffected?
    • How much do you want to avoid having a visible scar after treatment?
    • How much time are you prepared to spend in hospital having treatment?
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