What is skin lesions?
Skin lesions may be excised for cosmetic reasons, symptoms or to rule out skin cancer. Excision is usually under local anaesthetic but depends on the position, number and size of the lesion(s).
Small skin cancers can be removed entirely.
If a larger skin lesion is thought to be a skin cancer, it may require a punch biopsy to confirm before performing a formal excision. This is especially if the lesion is large enough that it may require a local flap or a skin graft. A punch biopsy may also be done if we suspect a melanoma.
For complex flaps, skin grafts and melanoma surgery, you may be referred to a melanoma specialist or plastic surgeon.
A punch biopsy is where a small part of the lesion is excised under local anaesthetic to be sent for pathological analysis. The blade used is shaped like a cylinder and takes a small core of tissue.