Types of Skin Cancer Surgery

Posted on September 12, 2018

Skin cancer surgery

Surgery is the first treatment in case of skin cancer. For the patients who have squamous cell carcinomas or basal cells, a qualified doctor or dermatologist will perform the procedure as an outpatient procedure with the use of a local anesthetic.  During this procedure, as it happens with all skin cancer surgeries, cancer cells get removed together with a small amount of the surrounding skin called margin.

For the skin cancer which may have spread, the surgery can be performed in order to get rid of the entire tumor and there are no other treatments which will be required.  If the skin cancer is too aggressive like melanoma, it will require an extensive surgery. When nearby nodes have been enlarged and the doctor thinks that the cancer cells have spread, they will test and then remove the lymph nodes that may have been infected.

Mohs surgery

It was developed in the 1930s. It has been designed so that it can remove the skin cancer tumor and at the same time, it will preserve the healthy tissue. With the procedure, the cancerous cells should be removed away from the skin, taking away one layer over the other, until the layer that has no skin cancer cells is reached. Mohs skin cancer surgery should be used where the skin is too visible, like on the hands, neck or head since it limits scarring. It can be used with the recurrent skin cancer. The surgery will need the use of local anesthesia and it can scar the skin.


The surgeon will perform the excision using a sharp razor or a scalpel. He will shave or cut the cancer growth away from the skin. The patients can get local anesthesia which will numb the affected area. Excision causes a scar.

A simple excision is done when the scalpel is used to remove the skin growth with a small perimeter of the surrounding tissue.

The shave excision is the procedure with which the growth can be peeled off or shaved away from the surface using a tool that looks like a sharp razor

Wide excision is used to get rid of the melanoma. The skin tumor with a wide perimeter of the healthy tissue gets removed. The wide excision can extend deeper into the skin compared to a simple excision.