Most small skin cancers are removed through an operation called an excision. A sample is sent to a pathologist to assess whether it has been completely removed. In some instances complex reconstruction is needed after an excision. Skin can be taken from another part of the body to cover and heal the wound – this is known as a skin graft. Alternatively, nearby skin and soft tissue can be used to reconstruct cosmetically sensitive areas. Tissue is moved (rotated or advanced) into the wound – this is called a local flap.
Dr Armstrong offers removal of a range of skin cancers and complex reconstruction (skin grafts and local flaps). He is trained in dermatoscopic assessments of skin tumours and is part of the Skin Cancer Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) at University Hospitals Plymouth. Alex also offers lymph node biopsies for patients. Dr Armstrong has published research on skin cancers which includes melanomas.
In most cases, patients should be able to go home the same day as surgery.