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Melanoma Excision and Scar

Area of excision for melanoma
Scar after excision for melanoma

Surgery to remove (excise) melanoma removes the cancer and a border of healthy tissue. In the "Area of excision" picture:

  • The inner circle represents the melanoma and healthy tissue that are excised.
  • An eye-shaped incision (cut) is often done so that the surgical site can be neatly closed.

If the excision is small, the skin may be closed with stitches after surgery. The "After surgery" picture shows the usual shape of the scar after surgery to remove a small melanoma.

If the excision is large, a skin graft may be needed.

Other ways of removing a melanoma can leave a round scar or a scar shaped a little like the letter "Z."

Current as of: April 29, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology