Standard Surgical Excision (SSE) is the time honoured technique for excision of a wide range of benign and malignant skin tumors. An appropriate margin of normal skin surrounding the lesion to be excised is chosen and an elliptical or canoe shaped incision is made. The adjacent skin is then sutured together as a straight or curved line.
The specimen is then sent for pathological analysis with the result being known in 2 to 3 days.
SSE is the treatment of choice for all benign tumors which require excision. It is also the treatment of choice for many malignant skin tumors; however, its limitation in the treatment of skin cancer is as follows. Given that the necessary margin of healthy skin will depend on the diagnosis of the lesion, and given that at the time of excision the diagnosis is not known, the margin chosen may not be adequate and will therefore require further surgery once pathological diagnosis is obtained. Hence, Mohs Surgery or Mapped Serial Excision (MSE) may be a better option than SSE in the treatment of selected skin cancers.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks, please discuss this with your Specialist at the time of your appointment.