Excision biopsy of lumps/removal of skin cancers
Various lumps such as moles, sebaceous cysts, lipomas, viral warts commonly result. These are benign conditions, which may warrant closer attention and removal due to a number of reasons:
- These lesions may mimic a cancerous condition and thus one can only be sure after excision and sending to the laboratory for definitive analysis.
- They may be symptomatic, such as being prone to recurrent infection in the case of sebaceous cysts, or pain or numbness if the lesions compress on surrounding structures, especially nerves.
- They are aesthetically displeasing.
For the above reasons, these should be removed and can be done so with the minimal of scarring through meticulous placement of small incisions and suture techniques.
Occasionally, if the mole or wart is small enough, a laser ablation can be performed. This has the advantage of not having the patient undergo a surgical procedure.
Common skin cancers such as basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas result from prolonged expose to sunlight. As such, they are most commonly found in the face, neck, arms and hands. Fortunately, they are often amenable to curative surgical excision. A small margin of normal tissue is also removed along with the tumour in order to minimize the chance of cancer recurrence. This is termed wide excision. The tumour is then sent to the laboratory for histological analysis in order to definitively determine complete tumour removal. In small tumours, this would be all that is required. In larger tumours, due to the greater amount of tissue removed resulting in a larger defect, reconstruction would be required, in terms of a skin graft or a local flap. Reconstructive procedures require careful planning in order to ensure success. This should be performed by a qualified plastic surgeon to achieve the best cosmetic outcome.
All these procedures are categorized as medical procedures and are amenable to Medisave and insurance claims.
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