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Skin Surgery

There are several types of skin surgery such as excision, skin biopsy, skin grafting, flaps, curettage and cautery and cryotherapy.

Skin excision involves removing skin lesion by entirely cutting the piece of skin and this is generally due to skin cancer. The cancers of the skin could be basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma or the deadly melanoma. The cancer can spread to other parts of the body and this is known as metastasize if the cancer is not excised. Other causes for skin excision could be for cosmetic purposes such as removing inflamed cysts and eliminating a recurrent infection.

Skin biopsy is a procedure whereby a piece of skin is taken to a laboratory to determine the skin’s disorder. The skin will be scrutinized with a microscope so that one can diagnose the skin condition. Skin biopsy is important in establishing the correct problem of the skin as our eyes cannot distinguish certain rashes and lesions. The microscope is able to differentiate the various kinds of rashes and lesions and with this detailed information, dermatologist have possible diagnoses. Sometimes biopsy is done if the physician suspects you have the cancer of the skin. The procedure can give specific details and therefore presenting the best treatment.


Skin grafting is a procedure whereby skin is taken from one part of the body to be used on another part where skin is missing. This method usually takes place when one experiences burns or after surgery of skin cancer. In other words, skin grafting is skin transplant as skin is transferred onto the open wound site. The skin will not only cover the wound but will connect to the cells below. Skin grafting allows the open wound to heal quickly and also to give the area a decent appearance.

Tissues taken from a donor’s body and transferred to a recipient’s body is known as a flap. The recipient could be missing a muscle, bone, skin or fascia. Flaps are not the same as grafts because flaps not only transfer a tissue but it is moved together with its blood supply. Grafts are relocated where tissues are in concerned therefore not involving any blood supply. A flap surgery would need the tissue and blood supply to be reattached to the blood supply of the recipient so that the wound will heal faster and the area will reconstruct.

Curettage and cautery also known as electrosurgery is a method that scrapes away a skin lesion by applying heat to the surface of the skin. A local anesthetic is involved in this procedure so that the area and its adjacent areas do not feel any pain. There is no pain involved although one may feel a pushing sensation. A sharp-edged spoon known as a curette will be used to scrape off the skin lesion. Another method is cryotherapy where skin lesions are frozen with liquid nitrogen, carbon dioxide snow or DMEP (dimethyl ether and propane).

Despite the available treatments, an experienced dermatologist will determine the best treatment by considering the reason behind the skin surgery.