Despite the technical advances in dermatology, including laser techniques and photodynamic therapy (PDT), some conditions still require physical surgery to remove, or excise, lesions from the skin, or to repair the damage caused by disease.
At our Harley Street dermatology clinic, we can provide a range of skin surgery techniques to treat a variety of skin conditions.
(Skin surgery in progress)
Skin surgery techniques
- Shave excision. Also known as tangential excision. Lesions that sit above the skin are shaved level with the skin surface
- Punch excision. A circular blade is used to remove a cylinder shaped section of the skin. This can be used to remove all of the problem area or to take a sample for analysis
- Curettage. A curved blade is used to scoop out lesions which penetrate the skin
- Elliptical excision. An elliptical section of skin around the lesion is cut out using a scalpel. This technique helps the skin to heal more easily
- Mohs micrographic surgery. A specialist technique that removes cancerous lesions layer by layer. Each layer is examined immediately under a high-powered microscope for the presence of cancer cells before proceeding to the next layer
Which conditions require skin surgery?
Skin surgery can be used to treat conditions that produce skin lesions that are either raised above the skin surface or penetrate into the skin. It can also be used to correct excessive skin growth in diseases such as rosacea, where the skin around the nose can become thickened and bulbous (a condition known as rhinophyma). This may need to be treated for medical as well as cosmetic reasons because it can lead to breathing problems.
Shave excision to surface level is used to treat conditions such as surface warts and moles, seborrhoeic keratoses and surface solar keratoses.
Deeper surgical excisions are used where the lesion has penetrated the skin, especially where there is a risk that the lesion may be cancerous or may become cancerous. These include deeper moles and keratoses and skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.