Treating Skin Cancer with Wide-Local Excision
Skin Cancer Care Specialists | December 3, 2018
Many methods exist for the treatment of skin cancer on both the “low-risk” areas of the body such as the arms and legs as well as the more sensitive areas like the lips, around the eyes, nose, ears and scalp. Wide-local excision — the process of removing the cancerous tissue and a small area of healthy tissue surrounding it — is one type of surgical skin cancer treatment used on some of the lower risk areas. This treatment is most commonly used when treating early stage melanomas that have not spread into the deeper levels of the dermis or to other areas of the body. However, wide-local excision can also be used to treat basal and squamous cell carcinomas with success.
Unlike Mohs surgery, wide-local excision removes a marginal amount of healthy tissue along with the cancerous tissue and, therefore, leaves a larger wound and a greater potential for scarring. In cases where the cancerous tissue affects parts of the body where not much skin is available for suturing such as the head or scalp, the necessity for a skin graft or skin flaps may be possible.
During a wide-local excision, Dr. Weisberg, an expertly-trained dermatologist and Mohs surgeon, removes the affected tissue along with a surrounding area of healthy tissue to ensure that all the cancer cells are removed, usually in an elliptical shape that resembles a football. Afterwards, the wound is sutured and the tissue is sent off to be processed and analyzed by an expert pathologist.
Following the surgery, the experts at Skin Cancer Care Specialists will instruct you on how to care for your sutures and how best to clean the wound for your comfort and to avoid infection. Generally, a follow-up visit is required 1-3 weeks after surgery to remove the sutures.
If you are interested in learning more about wide-local excision surgery or to find out if you are a good candidate for this procedure, call Skin Cancer Care Specialists today at 561-775-6011.