Excision refers to the removal of a lesion by cutting through the skin down to the underlying fat and in most cases repairing the wound with sutures. Many types of lesions are removed by excision, including moles, cysts, lipomas, and skin cancers. When repaired, excisional wounds are usually sutured in a straight line. Sometimes if the lesion is large it may be necessary to repair the defect after excision with a skin flap or graft. Wounds may be closed with a layer of dissolving stitches below the skin in addition to a layer of surface sutures, which are removed one to two weeks after surgery. Depending on the location and size of the wound, it may be recommended that patients use steristrips to support the incisions for two weeks or more following suture removal, until the wounds have sufficient strength to minimize the risk of a spread scar.
All excisions are done using sterile technique and local anaesthesia just around the affected area. . Excisional wounds mature below the surface of the skin for approximately six months following surgery, by which time they have usually reached their final appearance. Taking proper care of the surgical site will help to improve the final appearance of the scar.
Some skin cancers may be treated by excision and curettage. This is usually used for superficial skin cancers. There are no sutures and the skin heals in from the edges. Wound care involves daily cleansing followed by application of an ointment.