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."

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology
Last Revised October 12, 2012

Last Revised: October 12, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.


The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.

More to explore