Skin Cancers And Other Lesion Excisions


  • Skin cancers occur due to a variety of causes, but the majority is caused by sun damage.
  • The most common skin cancers we see are basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas and melanomas
  • Annual dermatological evaluation is recommended in South Africa due to the high UV index.
  • There are many treatment modalities, but the mainstay management remains surgical excision. Excision often results in large wounds requiring reconstruction.
  • This is usually performed as a day case type of surgery.


  • Please stop any over-the-counter herbs, vitamins, or drugs 2 weeks prior to your scheduled surgery.
  • Disprin, NSAIDS and blood thinners should be stopped 7 days prior to surgery unless specified or instructed differently by Dr F. Spruyt. This is done to prevent excessive bleeding.
  • You should be fasted for 8 hours prior to your scheduled surgery.
  • Please be at the hospital 2 hours prior to your surgery to allow for admission and preparation.
  • You will be counselled on the risks, complications, and healing process prior to your surgery. If you have any questions, please write them down and bring them with you so that they may be discussed prior to surgery.


  • Surgery is performed under general anaesthesia, sedation, or local anaesthesia in a day hospital.
  • Surgery can be a simple excision and closure or in the case of a high risk lesion, with Mohs excision followed by reconstruction once cancer clearance has been confirmed.


  • Avoid using tissue oils on the scars, only a cream like Epimax or a silicone cream may be applied once healed.
  • Wounds are usually covered by an absorbent dressing or bandage. Please carefully remove it after 48 hours unless otherwise instructed. If it is water resistant it can be left on until your follow up visit.
  • Underneath the absorbent dressing, steri-strips are applied. These support the wound and must remain on at all times.
  • Should the steri-strips start to loosen, please clean the area with salt water and replace with new steri-strips.
  • Sutures placed on the scalp and on the rest of the body (except for the face) will only be removed after 2 weeks.
  • Please phone the rooms for a follow up appointment if one has not been provided.


  • Bleeding and hematoma (blood collection) will present as unilateral pain
  • Infection (red, warm, fever and severe pain)
  • Suture erosion or release
  • Scars (keloid or hypertrophic scars)
  • Recurrence (low, but requires dermatological follow up yearly and 6monthly for melanoma)

This procedure is usually not very painful, however, should you develop sudden onset of severe pain on one side of the surgery, this could be a sign of bleeding or infection and needs to be reported ASAP.

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