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What is Melanoma Surgery?

Melanocytes produce a pigment called melanin, which determines the color of our skin. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that begins in these skin cells called melanocytes. It primarily occurs on the skin, but can also occur in other parts including the eyes and the bowel. Melanoma is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that spreads to other parts of your body and is considered the most dangerous skin cancer, which can even lead to death when not diagnosed and treated early. Melanoma surgery is the standard first-line treatment for melanoma.

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Procedure of Melanoma Surgery

Melanoma surgery is performed under general or local anesthesia depending on the location and size of the melanoma. Your surgeon makes an incision and removes the melanoma completely along with a margin of the surrounding normal tissue to reduce the risk of any remaining cancer cells. The depth and width of the excision depend on the thickness of the melanoma and the extent to which it has invaded the skin. Along with skin tissue, fat tissue and lymph nodes may also be removed to prevent the further spread of cancer to other parts of the body. The incision is then closed with stitches. However, larger excisions may require a skin graft, in which skin from another part of your body is removed to cover the wound.

Risks and Complications of Melanoma Surgery

As with any surgery, melanoma surgery may involve certain risks and complications which include infection, bleeding, scarring, and skin graft rejection.

Location & Directions

Connect with Dr. Kaplin

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    Skin Smart Dermatology

    8200 Flourtown Ave,
    Suite 7, Wyndmoor, PA 19038

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    Practice Hours

    Monday – Friday
    Call for availability