Dr. Hina Altaf Dermatologist

Excision of Skin Cancers

Excision of Skin Cancers

Skin cancer is most commonly seen in sun-exposed areas of your skin — your face (including your lips), ears, neck, arms, chest, upper back, hands, and legs. However, it can also develop in less sun-exposed and more hidden areas of skin, including between your toes, under your fingernails, on the palms of your hands, soles of your feet, and in your genital area.

There are three main types of skin cancer:

  • Basal cell carcinoma.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Melanoma


Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common types of skin cancer and are sometimes called “non-melanoma skin cancer.”

Melanoma is not as common as basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas but is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. If left untreated or caught in a late stage, melanomas are more likely to spread to organs beyond the skin, making them difficult to treat and potentially life-limiting.

Fortunately, nearly all skin cancers can be cured if found and treated early. Treatments include excision, cryotherapy, Mohs surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

Surgery for Basal and Squamous Cell Skin Cancers

Surgery is a common treatment for basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. Different surgical techniques can be used. The options depend on the type of skin cancer, how large the cancer is, where it is on the body, and other factors. Most often the surgery can be done in a doctor’s office or hospital clinic using a local anesthetic (numbing medicine). The tumor is then cut out with a surgical knife, along with some surrounding normal skin. Most often, the remaining skin is then carefully stitched back together. This type of surgery will leave a scar.

For skin cancers with a high risk of spreading, surgery sometimes will be followed by other treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy.

Depending on the size of the site being treated, surgical excision generally takes anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes. Most wounds take 1 to 3 weeks to heal. If a large area of skin was removed, you may have a skin graft. In that case, healing may take longer. Some soreness around the site of the wound is normal.

Minimal Downtime

You can return to your daily routine immediately after

Immediate Results

Results within 24 to 48 hours, with full results in 30 days

Painless Procedure

Brief period of discomfort during the injection, similar to a pinch

Results That Last

Effects typically last for several months

The excision of skin cancer is a surgical procedure performed to remove cancerous growths or tumors from the skin. It involves cutting out the cancerous tissue along with a margin of healthy skin to ensure complete removal of the tumor.
Excision is commonly recommended for non-melanoma skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. It is used when the tumor is small, localized, and has not spread to other parts of the body. Excision is also used in some cases of melanoma, depending on the stage and depth of the tumor.
During the procedure, the surgeon will typically administer local anesthesia to numb the area surrounding the tumor. They will then surgically remove the cancerous tissue, ensuring that an adequate margin of healthy skin is taken to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. The wound is then closed with sutures or other closure methods.
After the procedure, the wound will require proper care and follow-up visits to ensure proper healing. You may experience some pain, swelling, or discomfort, but these can be managed with pain medications and by following your doctor's instructions for wound care. The recovery time varies depending on the size and location of the excision, but most individuals can resume their normal activities within a few weeks.
Like any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with excision of skin cancer. These may include infection, bleeding, poor wound healing, scarring, and, in rare cases, nerve damage or injury to nearby structures. Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you before the procedure and take appropriate measures to minimize them.

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Dr. Hinah Altaf’s clinic is currently at Gargash Hospital, 145 Umm Suqeim Street – Umm Al Sheif -Dubai.