Our staff will escort you into the surgical suite where medical questions will be asked along with review of medications and a check of your blood pressure. The doctor will then numb, with a local anesthetic, the area around the skin cancer. We use a far less painful local anesthetic than most other physicians. While the injection may be uncomfortable, our patients routinely tell us that it hurt far less than injections they have received elsewhere.
Once numb, the visible cancer along with a thin layer of normal appearing tissue will be removed. This tissue is carefully mapped by the surgeon and taken to the lab to be processed. A temporary bandage is placed over the wound and you return to the reception area.
The surgical procedure alone takes only 10-15 minutes. However, it takes on the average 45-60 minutes to prepare and examine the tissues of each layer. Large skin cancers may take significantly longer. Although, there is no way to tell how many layers will be necessary to remove the entire cancer, most are removed in 3 layers or less.
Since we do not know in advance how much time is necessary to remove the skin cancer and repair the wound, we ask that you plan for the possibility of being in the office the entire day. Please do not make other commitments. Most patients are here, however, 3-4 hours.