Excision is the removal of a skin cancer along with some of the healthy skin tissue around it (margin). For this procedure, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area.
After the cancerous area is removed, the incision is closed with stitches. If the incision is large, sometimes a skin graft or flap is required. Reconstructive surgery may be necessary if the excision surgery creates a scar.
Standard excision is different from Mohs micrographic surgery. In Mohs surgery, the skin cancer is removed one layer at a time. Each layer is checked under a microscope right away. By doing Mohs surgery, the surgeon can cut away all the cancer cells and spare as much healthy skin as possible.
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