I’m nervous about my skin excision biopsy…

Being vigilant about changes in your skin is so important: when diagnosed in the earliest stages, the survival rates of skin cancer are very high. Moles are usually benign and we each have, on average, 50 to 60 of them, but if you notice one is changing shape, size or colour or has become itchy, then book an appointment with your GP, if only to put your mind at rest. Your GP may recommend a biopsy and refer you to a specialist such as Milton Keynes-based plastic surgeon Mr Sudip Ghosh.

What does a skin excision biopsy involve?

In some cases, a specialist can tell by the appearance of the skin whether the abnormality is cancerous or benign, but in most cases a skin excision biopsy will be necessary whereby a sample of the skin is removed and sent to a laboratory for examination under a microscope. The type of biopsy you require will depend on the size and location of the possible cancer; one commonly used method is an excisional biopsy. This entails removing the whole of the abnormal area, including a border of healthy tissue in order to check that the entirety of the abnormality has been removed. In most cases, a skin excision biopsy will be performed using a local anaesthetic and will require stitches.

What questions should I ask?

During a consultation with Mr Sudip Ghosh at his Milton Keynes skin clinic, you will discuss the procedure, the potential risks, and the implications of the results. Mr Ghosh has much experience in putting his patients at ease and encourages everyone to ask as many questions as they need. Here are just four questions you may want answered: do you often do this type of surgery? What will happen if I refuse to have a skin excision biopsy? How long before I get the results? Will I need further treatment?

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