Skin Cancer Surgery in Bristol
Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are the most common types of skin carcinomas. They start in the top layer of skin (the epidermis) and are often related to sun exposure. Surgery is the most common treatment for skin cancer. The type of surgery you have depends on the size of the cancer and where it is on your body. Small skin cancers can usually be removed with a wide excision under local anaesthetic however if you have a larger skin cancer, this may require you to have a general anaesthetic where the area of removed cancer is reconstructed and replaced with a skin graft or a skin flap.
Skin cancers are usually removed with a wide excision, rather than a simple excision which would be typical for a mole, cyst, wart or skin tag removal. This means the skin cancer is cut out together with some of the healthy skin around it. The healthy skin is called a margin and the reason for taking a margin is to remove any cancer cells that have spread into the surrounding tissue.
Any lesion removed, whether it has been confirmed by a biopsy to be a skin cancer or it is a suspected skin cancer, will be sent away to the laboratory for histological analysis. This can sometimes take a few weeks to come back and the results will be relayed to you by Mr Sherif Wilson MB, ChB, MS, FRCS (Plastic Surgery). Depending on the result, there may or may not be any follow up treatment needed.