Melanoma in situ (MMIS)

You will receive a call from a Florida Dermatology Specialists team member to discuss your results further. Your biopsy showed an early melanoma.  It requires surgery for treatment.  

 Based on your pathology report, we can treat your melanoma in the office.  It had no measurable thickness on the biopsy report, which is the best possible prognosis for a melanoma.  It requires an excision, meaning a margin is taken around the cancer site and down into the fat layer.  We will do the surgery with local anesthesia here in the office.  

In an excision, the area around the abnormal mole is numbed like in a skin biopsy with an injection of local anesthesia.  

Then, a margin of normal-appearing skin around the area is cut out and the wound is closed with stitches.   The size of the margin depends on how abnormal the cells are, generally about 5 to 9 millimeters around the site for these lesions.

In all cases, the tissue removed will be sent to the pathology lab and analyzed to make sure the margins are clear and the spot has been removed.   

There is generally little to no wound care required at home.  Stitches usually stay in between 10-14 days on the trunk and extremities, depending on the site of the surgery.  

Activity like vigorous exercise, tennis, or golf may be limited during that time until stitches come out.  In addition, there can be no underwater submersion until the stitches have been removed.  This means no swimming or baths until then.  Showering after the pressure bandage has been removed, 48 hours after surgery, is fine.

The risks of the procedure are small, but include bleeding, low risk of infection, further required surgery, cancer recurrence, and a scar.  The recurrence rate is extremely low for excision of melanoma in situ.

A melanoma like this does not require any imaging or scans, based on information we have from the biopsy report.  You also do not need a referral to a medical oncologist, but we would be happy to make one should you so desire.

The surgery itself is therapeutic and nearly always curative.  

It’s important to have this procedure done soon.

In addition, you will need to come for an examination every three months for the first year.

For any of the surgical procedures, click here for Preoperative Concerns and Protocols for more information.