Once a lesion has been diagnosed as a skin cancer, either through clinical examination or by a biopsy, many will require surgical treatment.
There are a number of surgical options for treating skin cancer. Factors that will determine which treatment option is best for you including the type, location and thickness of the skin cancer.
Surgical excision is the most common form of skin cancer surgery. It involves cutting out the skin cancer with a surrounding margin of normal skin. The wound is then usually sutured together.
In some circumstances the surgical wound will be closed with a flap or skin graft.
Curettage is a surgical procedure where the skin cancer cells are scraped off the skin using a surgical instrument called a curette. The wound is similar to a deep graze and does not require stiches.
Curettage is usually performed on thin BCC's and some SCC's.
Mohs micrographic surgery
Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialised type of dermatological surgery where the skin cancer is removed and immediately checked under the microscope before closing the wound.
If the skin cancer has not been completely removed the surgeon will excise more skin until the margins are clear. Only then will the wound be closed.
Mohs surgery has a very high cure rate and is often used for difficult skin cancers and in cosmetically sensitive areas such as the nose or face.
Mohs surgery is not performed at Peninsula Dermatology however if this type of surgery is needed your Dermatologist will arrange referral to an appropriate facility that provides this service.