It is difficult to talk of skin cancer in one block because there are different types with different evolution and prognosis. Basically one can oppose melanoma that has a general evolution to basal and squamous cell carcinomas that have a local or locoregional evolution.
However their local treatment has common points.
Because of the malign characteristic of these tumors it is important to have a security margin when taking them off. This margin’s importance varies with the type of tumor but is usually between a few millimeters and a few centimeters. This means that when one operates a tumor deemed very small by the patient, it is going to be necessary to take away quite a bit of tissue. These defects that can be spectacular, specially on the face,and be perceived as excessive by the patient, but there are necessary to diminish recurrence possibility.
Fortunately plastic surgery possibilities are important and these defects can be closed by simple healing, skin grafts or skin flaps.
These procedures are usually done with local anesthesia and sedation. The tumor is excised. Skin grafting means that skin tissue is taken somewhere else on the body and put on the defect. A local skin flap is also skin taken somewhere else but is left attached to a vascular pedicle.
The sutures are resorbable and it is not necessary to take them off.
Return home is usually possible the same day
Local dressing can be removed the next day. Local care with saline solution and Vaseline are usually prescribed
Local massages done by the patient can accelerate scar softening.
Scar coloration can be present from 6 months to 2 years.