Excisions Excision for Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Excision is the removal of a skin cancer, along with some of the healthy skin tissue around it (margin). For this procedure, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area. After the cancerous area is removed, the incision is closed with stitches. If the incision is large, sometimes a skin graft or flap is required. Reconstructive surgery may be needed if the excision surgery creates a scar. Standard excision is different from Mohs micrographic surgery. In Mohs surgery, the skin cancer is removed one layer at a time. Each layer is checked under a microscope right away. In performing Mohs surgery, the surgeon can cut away all the cancer cells and spare as much healthy skin as possible. Surgical Excision of Melanoma Surgery to excise a melanoma involves removing the entire melanoma, along with a border (margin) of normal-appearing skin. The width of the border of normal skin removed depends on the depth of the melanoma. More tissue, usually skin and fat, is also removed from under the melanoma. Small excisions may be closed with stitches and heal without problems. Large excisions, or those located on the hands, face, or feet may require a skin graft to close the wound after surgery. The type of anesthetic used for your surgery depends on the size and location of the melanoma. Surgery on small, easily reached melanomas may require only a local anesthetic, while surgery for larger melanomas may require general anesthesia. To learn more about Excisions for treating skin cancer or to schedule your consultation at Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting, serving the Philadelphia metro area, including The Main Line, Chestnut Hill, Blue Bell, Gwynedd, and Flourtown, please fill out the form on this page or call 610.947.4322.