Wide local excision is a surgical method to remove the tumor and a small part of surrounding tissue to avoid reoccurrence. The amount of surrounding tissue removed depends on the size of the tumor.
Wide local excision is a commonly suggested treatment for:
How Wide Local Excision Performed?
Wide local excision is an outpatient procedure. It does not require hospital admission. Generally, you are kept awake during the procedure but will not feel any pain. The surgeon first cleans the excision site and administers a local or general anesthetic. After the anesthetic numbs the area, the surgeon removes the tumor and surrounding tissue.
The wound is closed with sutures or stitches. If a large area of the skin is removed, the surgeon may take healthy skin from another part of your body and cover the wound with it. This is known as skin grafting. The removed tumor is sent to a pathologist for analysis.
If the surgeon has closed the wound with stitches, you will have to visit the doctor after a few days or a week to get them removed.
Preparation for Wide Local Excision
Before the Treatment Procedure
The doctor will examine your medical history and perform a physical examination. They will ask you about your current medications, allergies, allergies to anesthesia, history of bleeding, and other medical problems. Be honest about everything. Preparation for wide local excision also depends upon the type of anesthesia used.
If general anesthesia is used, the doctor will recommend you
Not to consume any food or fluid at least six hours before undergoing the procedure.
Stop medications that might interfere with the procedure.
Avoid alcohol on the day of surgery and a day after.
Have a friend or family member pick you up after the procedure. Do not drive back home on your own.
For local anesthesia, there is no preparation required on your part. Healthy food and a good night's sleep are sufficient. The doctor might give some special instructions based on your medical history and current medication.
After the Procedure
Keep the treatment area clean and dry. Your skin might feel tender. Allow it to heal.
The doctor will give instructions on how to clean and change the bandage and apply an antibacterial ointment. Drink liquids and eat light and healthy food. Ask the doctor when it is safe for you to resume normal activities.
After the treatment procedure, the doctor may prescribe painkillers.
In the case of stitches or sutures, the doctor might ask you to follow up after one to three weeks of the treatment to remove them. If not, the doctor will request a follow-up after four to six weeks to see how the wound is healing. Based on your wound and side effects, if any, the doctor will recommend further follow-up.
Risks of Wide Local Excision
Wide local excision is a surgical procedure. Common risks associated with surgery are:
Allergic reaction to anesthesia
Infection in the treatment area
Pain in the nerves
Appearance of scar in the treatment area
Bruising or swelling
Bleeding in the treatment area after the surgery
These are minimal in the hands of specialized dermatologists.
Wide Local Excision Recovery
Wide local excision is a minor surgery and does not take much time to recover. You can resume your normal activities after a few days of the procedure. The skin around the treatment area may take a little time to heal. However, it will not affect your day-to-day activities.