Excisional Surgery

James River Dermatology provides excisional surgery in instances where melanoma or non-melanoma cancer has developed on the skin. These types of cancer are often found in areas of the skin that are routinely exposed to the sun.


What Is Excision Surgery?

Excision surgery is a procedure used by dermatologists to remove abnormal or cancerous cells from the skin that may present themselves in the form of a mole or tumor. Your dermatologist will mark a margin around the spot that will include some healthy skin as well. This is done to ensure that the abnormal or cancerous cells have not spread. Afterwards, we will administer a local anesthetic so you won’t feel any pain at all during the procedure. The dermatologist will then cut a football-shaped incision in order to help keep scarring at a minimum. The scar will typically look like a thin, flat line.

Once the area has been excised, we will send the tissue to a pathologist who will study it to be sure all the cancer cells are gone. Depending on the size of the area, we may use stitches that will usually be removed 1-2 weeks after the procedure.

Benefits of Excision Surgery

Excision surgery is a way to completely remove skin cancer and, in most cases, prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body. It is an effective and quick technique that can be completed in just one visit. Following each procedure, the excised tissue is sent to the laboratory and examined so we can be sure all of the affected area has been removed. This method has an almost 95% success rate at removing basal cell carcinoma and squamous cells carcinoma from the skin.

Following surgery, the recovery period usually only takes up to two weeks as the wound heals. This time may vary depending on the size of the area treated. For most patients, the wound site will not affect their day-to-day life as it heals.

Schedule an Appointment

If you’ve noticed anything unusual on your skin, give us a call to schedule a consultation. Our trained dermatologists and pathologists can assess whether excision surgery is the right treatment for you. To request an appointment, please call us at 804-379-0116.