Surgical Skin Cancer Treatment

Surgical skin cancer treatment

Most forms of skin cancer require surgical removal. This is to ensure complete removal of the cancer and allow complete histological examination. For most cancers, this is a simple procedure under local anaesthetic, which can be done at Wellington Dermatology.

Most non melanoma skin cancers require a margin of 3-5mm of normal skin to be removed to lessen the chance of possible re-occurrence. These margins may vary depending on the type of cancer.

The surgical procedure itself is normally simple and can be done in 30-60 minutes. The procedure is explained beforehand by our skin specialists and consent obtained.

The cancer is normally marked with a margin of normal skin and in most cases can be closed directly. Occasionally closure will require a flap or a small graft. This will be explained beforehand. All procedures are done under local anaesthetic and sedation is not normally used.

If you are on any medicines that may affect the surgery (e.g. blood thinners) this will be discussed with you prior to the procedure commencing.

Once the local anaesthetic has been injected and is working, the cancer is removed and skin sutured. A dressing is normally applied. Written and verbal post-operative instructions are given.

You will be given a phone number to contact if there are any post-operative questions or concerns.

The specimen, once removed, is sent to the laboratory for histological examination. When the result has been received the patient will be notified and a follow up arranged as required.