The primary treatment of an invasive melanoma is a wide local resection. A wide local resection is a surgical procedure that is performed in the operating room in which a margin of healthy appearing skin tissue is removed along with the melanoma. The amount of skin that is required to be removed depends on the microscopic characteristics of the melanoma. In most cases the wound can be closed by using excess skin in the area. Melanomas that are located on the face, scalp, hands, and feet may sometimes require specialized closure with the expertise of a Plastic Surgeon. The specialized closure is performed at the same time as the wide local resection.
What should you do to prepare for a wide local resection?
Prior to undergoing a wide local resection, please let us know about the following.
1. Are you taking any medicines, particularly anti-inflammatory medicines such as prednisone? Anti-inflammatory medicines may change the way your biopsy looks under the microscope.
2. Are you taking herbs or supplements? Many herbs and supplements will cause additional bleeding in the operating room.
3. Are you allergic to any medicines?
4. Have you had any bleeding problems or are taking blood-thinning medicines, such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin)?
5. Are you or might you be pregnant?
Additional testing may be required from your primary care physician depending on your age and overall health.