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What is Skin Cancer Excision?

There are two surgical options for the excision on skin cancers: surgical excision and Mohs surgery. Surgery is most used to treat non-melanoma skin cancer. The type of surgery that will be performed depends on the size and location of the skin cancer. Our team will always address all options with you and take into consideration the cosmetic look of where the surgery will be performed. Surgery may be performed for multiple reasons including to completely remove the cancer and/or remove lymph nodes.

Surgical Excision

Surgical excision removes the cancer along with some surrounding noncancerous tissue referred to as the surgical margin. Surgical excision is often referred to as wide local excision. It is the standard and most common surgical treatment for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma as well as other non-melanoma skin cancers. A local anesthetic will be used to numb and freeze the area to make it completely pain-free. Our expert surgeons will then use a surgical scalpel to cut the cancer from the skin and surrounding area. With aesthetics in mind, your surgeon will then stitch up the area. The skin removed will be sent out for analysis to ensure that there are no skin cancer cells in the margin area, proving that all the skin cancer has been removed.


Mohs surgery is also used for non-melanoma skin cancers that are usually high-risk or recurrent. Mohs surgery is a process in which the cancer is removed little by little in layers. This process is performed until no cancer remains. Mohs are usually performed when surgeons and dermatologists are eager to save as much normal tissue as possible, to ensure the skin remains in good health and appearance. It’s also a choice for ensuring certain areas have full functionality in areas such as the feet, hands, face, and ears.