Surgery and excisions
At Mole Mapping WA we are equipped with state of the art equipment to perform various methods of skin cancer and mole removal. Below are some examples of techniques we use here at Mole Mapping WA.
All biopsies and removed cancers are sent to the pathologist for confirmation of removal of the entire growth and identification of growth for further treatment options if required by your treating doctor.
Biopsies to test for skin cancers:
To examine a skin growth that may have grown into deeper layers of the skin, the doctor may use an incisional or excisional biopsy.
- An incisional biopsy removes only a portion of the skin growth.
- An excisional biopsy removes the entire skin growth.
For these types of biopsies, a scalpel is usually used to cut through the skin and remove a portion of the growth or the entire growth. After larger biopsies the skin is usually stitched together.
Cryosurgery (cryotherapy) is the use of extreme cold produced by liquid nitrogen to destroy abnormal tissue. Cryosurgery is used to treat external tumors, such as those on the skin. For external tumors, liquid nitrogen is applied directly to the cancer cells with a cotton swab or spraying device.
Curettage and electrocautery:
Curettage is the surgical removal of growths or tissue using a spoon-like instrument with a sharp edge called a curette.
Electrosurgery is a procedure that cuts and destroys, or cauterizes tissue using a high-frequency electric current applied locally with a pencil-shaped metal instrument or needle. When the two procedures are used at the same time the surgery is referred to as curettage and electrosurgery.
Wide local excisions:
During a wide-local excision, the skin cancer and a small region of healthy tissue around it is cut out and removed. The edges of the wound are then sutured together. The tissue then is sent to a pathologist for evaluation.
Flap surgery is a technique where skin is lifted from a donor site and moved to a recipient site with an intact blood supply. This is similar to but different from a graft, which does not have an intact blood supply and therefore relies on growth of new blood vessels. This is done to fill a defect/space such as a wound resulting from injury or surgery when the remaining tissue is unable to support a graft, or to rebuild more complex skin structures.
Healthy skin is taken from a place on your body called the donor site. Most people who are having a skin graft have a split-thickness skin graft. The two top layers of skin from the donor site and the layer under the epidermis are removed from the donor site and is put in place of the removed area of skin.