We perform excisions, or skin removals, on “abnormal” moles (ie “dysplastic nevi”) or skin cancers. Surgical excision is a typically 20-30 minute in office procedure that involves taking a margin of normal healthy tissue around the site of the abnormal biopsy site. When we biopsy moles that appear “suspicious” (usually because they fall into the ABCDEs of melanoma) we usually get the biopsy results back within 7-10 days from the lab and it tells us “normal, abnormal, or melanoma”. When they report a mole as “abnormal” they usually score HOW abnormal it is, by saying its “mildly” dysplastic, “moderately” dysplastic, or “severely” dysplastic. When they report a mole as moderate or severely dysplastic, we usually go back and take more in the form of a surgical excision to ensure the margins are clear of abnormal cells.
This usually involves 20-30 minutes in our office, deep stitches are placed (that usually take 3-6months to dissolve) and top stitches are places (which are generally removed within 5-10 days in our office). You will get a local anesthetic (NOT general anesthesia), and these procedures are usually painless and uneventful. We send the tissue we remove back to the laboratory to determine that the margins of the abnormal mole or skin cancer are “clear”.
For more information on our Mohs Surgery Pre/Post-Operative Instructions and what to expect, Please see here:
Biopsy Site Aftercare Instructions
Dermabond Aftercare Instructions
Excision Aftercare Instructions