Excision refers to the removal of a lesion by cutting through the skin down to the underlying fat and in most cases repairing the wound with sutures. Many types of lesions are removed by excision, including moles, cysts, lipomas, and skin cancers. When repaired, excisional wounds are usually sutured in a straight line, oriented to follow the normal wrinkle lines of the skin. Most wounds are closed with a layer of dissolving stitches below the skin in addition to a layer of surface sutures, which are removed one to two weeks after surgery. Depending on the location and size of the wound, it is often recommended that patients use a non-stretch skin colored tape to support the incisions for two weeks or more following suture removal, until the wounds have sufficient strength to minimize risk of a spread scar. Excisional wounds mature below the surface of the skin for approximately six months following surgery, by which time they have usually reached their final appearance.
All excisions are done in the office using sterile technique and local anesthesia around the affected area. Scars are generally minimal and usually blend into the surrounding skin. Taking proper care of the surgical site will help to improve the final appearance of the scar.
All excised lesions are submitted for pathology and review by Dr. James Zalla or Dr. Sabra Abner, both of whom are board-certified dermatopathologists. Slides are prepared in our office, and most results are available in less than one week.