Even though this is minor surgery, all surgery carries risks, including poor scarring/cosmetic appearance, wound infection, scar opening up, bleeding and numbness. As this is usually a small procedure, these risks are often very minimal.
What happens next?
A pathologist (a specialist doctor) will look at the area removed or tissue under a microscope and make a diagnosis. The analysis of the biopsy typically takes two weeks and therefore there will be a short wait after the biopsy before the diagnosis is known. We know this can be a worrying time for you and your family, however, the majority of local excisions do not pick up a melanoma. It is always better, however, to be diagnosed early.
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If melanoma is diagnosed, you will need to go back to hospital to have a further procedure called a wide local excision. For information on a wide local excision see here.