UNC Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery      UNC Health Care      151 Old University Station Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

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Skin Cancer in North Carolina

An increasing number of people in the United States are being diagnosed with skin cancer each year. Skin cancer can affect any sun-exposed part of the body, especially the face and neck. If it is not treated, the disease can be deadly.

If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, the surgeons at UNC may perform surgery to remove the cancer.

What Is Skin Cancer Surgery?

Skin cancer lesions on the face or neck should be examined and treated immediately. The lesion may need to be removed surgically. Surgeons can remove such growths with minimal scarring.

Who Can Benefit?

Patients affected by skin cancer may have:

  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Malignant melanoma

If you have symptoms of melanoma, you will be referred to either Surgical Oncology or Dermatology at UNC, so you can be reviewed by the Melanoma Tumor Board.

In cases of basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, we often perform surgical skin cancer removal. When you work with a skilled plastic surgeon, you can be sure that care will be taken to minimize the scarring that occurs from skin cancer removal.

The Skin Cancer Surgery Procedure

There are a few different ways to remove a skin cancer lesion. One of the most common techniques is excision followed by direct closure. During this procedure, the doctor makes an incision around the cancerous tissue, removes it, and then closes the incision. These steps can be modified depending on the size and location of the skin cancer lesion.

For approximately one week after your surgery, you will need to keep the incision site covered with a bandage, which is typically replaced on a daily basis. Avoid rigorous activities for about two weeks and report any signs of infection to your plastic surgeon. Possible complications of skin cancer surgery include infection, bleeding, rejection of skin graft, seroma, hematoma and nerve damage.

Learn More About Skin Cancer Removal in Raleigh-Durham

To learn more about skin cancer surgery, please contact the UNC Aesthetic, Laser & Burn Center in Chapel Hill. Call 919-843-3734 to schedule a consultation.

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