Skin Cancer

Skin cancer surgery is a procedure performed to eliminate skin cancer and prevent recurrence. In some cases, reconstruction may be needed to restore your appearance. There are several types of skin cancer. The most common types are basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and malignant melanoma.

How long will the procedure take?

Some of these procedures can be done in the office setting. However, some will require anesthesia and will need to be done in the operating room. This can determine the length of time necessary to complete the procedure. Factors that determine where the procedure takes place include location of lesion, size of the lesion, and serious medical conditions or medications. Dr. Aboutanos will discuss all of these important factors with you during your consultation.

Where will the incisions be?

The location of the skin cancer will determine where the incision will be located. If possible, the incisions are hidden within a crease or made such that the scar is thin and flat. If reconstruction is necessary, a skin flap or graft may be used.

What will recovery be like?

Typically, the immediate recovery is about one to two days if the skin cancer is removed in the office setting. It can be longer if a more extensive procedure is required. You will receive instructions on how to care for the repair afterwards. You should be able to shower the day after the procedure. The stitches will be removed in seven to 14 days.

Initially, you should plan to avoid strenuous exercise, contact sports, swimming, heavy lifting, and housework.

What else should I know about skin cancer procedures?

If you have been diagnosed with a skin cancer, it is important to get routine screenings and to use sunscreen on a regular basis. Dr. Aboutanos will go over these critical points during your visit.