After the tumor and surrounding skin have been completely numbed with local anesthesia, the visible portion of the tumor is surgically removed. The tissue is then taken to our laboratory and processed where the physician uses a microscope to see if any cancer cells remain. If no cancer cells are seen, the surgeon will repair the wound with stitches (or allow the wound to heal if stitches are not needed.) If any cancer cells have been left behind, the surgeon will go back and remove additional tissue. This process is repeated as many times as necessary to ensure complete removal of the tumor.
The length of the surgery depends on the extent of the skin cancer, but usually takes between 3 to 4 hours. Occasionally surgery takes longer, so we ask that you come prepared to spend the day. Much of the time will be spent waiting for the tissue to be processed in the lab. Bring reading material and whatever else will help keep you comfortable while you are with us. Wi-fi is available in the Sun City West location.