Excision is the removal of a skin cancer along with some of the healthy skin tissue around it (margin). For this procedure, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area.

After the cancerous area is removed, the incision is closed with stitches. If the incision is large, sometimes a skin graft or flap is required. Reconstructive surgery may be needed if the excision surgery creates a scar.

Standard excision is different from Mohs micrographic surgery. In Mohs surgery, the skin cancer is removed one layer at a time. Each layer is checked under a microscope right away. By doing Mohs surgery, the surgeon can cut away all the cancer cells and spare as much healthy skin as possible.

What To Expect After Surgery

Recovery from skin cancer surgery varies depending on the site and how much skin is removed.

Why It Is Done

Standard excision works well to remove basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. But Mohs surgery works better for some skin cancer in places (such as the face) where it is important to save as much skin as possible.

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