Skin Lesions

Skin Lesions

Why do I need my lesion excised?

Skin lesions may be identified as potentially dangerous to your health by your referrer. This may be because of the appearance of the lesion, or because of a biopsy test identifying abnormal cells under a microscope.

The risk of potentially dangerous cells within the lesion has been judged as high enough that it needs to be removed so that the risk to you can be reduced. Even if the lesion turns out to be normal once the whole lesion has been examined under a microscope, it is better to have a normal lesion confirmed than risk leaving a possibly developing cancer in the skin.

All skin lesions need to be removed with the right amount of normal tissue surrounding them to prevent them from returning. Depending on the type of lesion, this is usually 1-2mm, but ranges up to 20mm.

Why does my referrer want me to see a specialist plastic and reconstructive surgeon?

Simple lesions are often excised by a GP or dermatologist, however, there are some lesions and anatomical regions that require expertly applied reconstructive techniques to achieve the best possible cosmetic and functional outcome, and to minimise the chance of problems such as poor wound healing, poor scars, deformities or functional problems. This is very important for patients and requires specific training and experience on the part of the surgeon.

How will my lesion be excised?

Elliptical excision with direct closure: This is the most common method of lesion excision to avoid "dog ears" of your scar. An elliptical or oval shaped area is excised, typically two or three times longer than the lesion. The size of the excision will be determined based on the type of lesion as they must be excised with the right amount of healthy tissue surrounding to prevent reoccurence; this is commonly 1-2mm, but ranges up to 20mm.


Australian & New Zealand Burn Association
Australian Medical Association
Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons
Fellow of the Royal Australiasian College of Surgeons


The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne
Monash Health