Doctors excise skin lesions to treat or prevent infections or cancer by removing the cancerous or non-cancerous growth, but they may also perform the procedure for cosmetic reasons, according to Baylor Scott & White Health. Excision is also an option if the lesion has become a chronic skin irritation, as confirmed by Willis-Knighton Health System.
For both non-cancerous cysts and cancerous growths, the surgeon may perform a complete surgical excision in which a scalpel and scissors cut under the lesion to remove it, as stated by Baylor Scott & White Health. Health care professionals normally perform shave excisions to remove skin tags or moles, and they may perform a punch excision to perform a biopsy of the skin lesion or to remove a mole or scar. Mohs micrographic surgery is an excision commonly performed to treat skin cancers, such as squamous cell carcinoma or basal cell carcinoma, on the face or ears.
Possible complications of these procedures include bleeding, infection, scarring, changes in skin appearance and recurrence of the removed cancer, according to Baylor Scott & White Health. Before undergoing an excision, patients should notify their caregivers if they have any allergies to food or medicine, are taking any medications, may be pregnant or have a history of bleeding problems.