Hernia Surgery

Skin Excision & Subcutaneous Tumor

General Surgery

Are you or your dermatologist worried about a new or changing growth on your skin or a lump just underneath your skin? At Cayman Surgery, we can perform excisions of the skin and subcutaneous (under the skin) growths to diagnose and even treat conditions causing these changes. Dr. Ebanks can also refer you to a different specialist if your case cannot be treated at our office, working together with several dermatologists on island.

What Are Skin Excisions?

A skin lesion excision is a procedure in which a qualified surgeon removes areas of skin and surrounding tissue that look abnormal. These growths are then sent to a laboratory to determine whether they are cancerous or otherwise of any concern.

What we normally look for is one of the four main types of skin cancer

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cells are round cells found in the epidermis, and a basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer. This type of cancer is slow-growing and very rarely spreads to other parts of the body.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cells are the most numerous cells in the epidermis. Cancer arising from these cells is usually due to sun exposure and skin damage. It spreads to other parts of the body in only five percent of all cases.


This aggressive form of skin cancer arises mostly from pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. While being serious, melanoma accounts for only around one percent of all skin cancers. It usually appears as an abnormal mole, although it can vary greatly in appearance.

Merkel Cell Carcinoma

A rare but aggressive form of skin cancer, Merkel cell carcinoma arises from cells found on the very surface of the skin.

Dr. Ebanks performs skin excisions mostly in her private office. She is well trained in both general  surgery and minor plastic surgery, which has helped her in treating patients concerned about skin lesions. During skin excision procedures, she uses a local anesthetic to alleviate any discomfort, and little to no recovery time is required after the procedure. The complexity of the procedure will vary based on the size and location of the lesion and the amount of tissue removed. Dr. Ebanks performs these excisions with great care and uses small incisions to ensure as little scarring as possible. She might even perform a local tissue transfer or a free skin graft to close larger defects.In the large majority of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, the excision procedure itself is sufficient for treating and curing the cancer. Other cancers may require additional treatment, most of which can be administered at a dermatology or oncology department.

What Are Subcutaneous Tumor Excisions?

Subcutaneous tissue is found just underneath the skin. It is composed mostly of fat cells but also contains collagen fibers and white blood cells. It has loose connective tissue and has larger blood vessels and more nerves than the skin. Tumors in this area of the body are also known as soft tissue tumors. They are fairly common and usually benign (non-cancerous).


A round lump composed mostly of fat cells. It is painless and moves easily when you touch it. Lipomas can develop anywhere on the body and usually do not require treatment.


This is a rare type of lipoma that is often painful or tender. They are composed of fat cells and blood vessels. Although benign, they can infiltrate surrounding tissue and cause pain.


A hemangioma is the appearance of a bright red tumor or birthmark that develops at birth or in the first weeks of life. They are benign vascular tumors that can appear underneath the skin.

Other benign growths under the skin include benign fibrous histiocytoma, neurofibroma, myxoma, and neurilemmoma, to name a few. It is impossible to know for certain whether a lump under the skin is malignant or not without a medical examination. That is why it is important to see a doctor if any of these symptoms develop anywhere on your body. Dr. Ebanks can complete a thorough examination and perform imaging studies, biopsies or even an excision of the subcutaneous tumor and the surrounding skin tissue, if necessary, to determine malignancy and whether subsequent treatment is needed.Once the excision is complete, the tumor is sent to a laboratory for further testing.  The type of diagnosis will determine whether any further treatment is necessary. Although most subcutaneous tumors are benign, excision may still be an option for tumors that cause symptoms (mostly lipomas in odd places), for peace of mind and cosmetic reasons. Dr. Ebanks will perform a thorough physical examination of a tumor before recommending excision or any other type of treatment. If elaborate treatment is needed, Dr. Ebanks will discuss your options and the best method of care.

Make an Appointment

If you have noticed a concerning skin lesion or lump under the skin, feel free to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tanja Ebanks at Cayman Surgery. She is a general surgeon who also has experience in plastic surgery and has years of experience in treating a wide range of conditions, including those affecting the skin and subcutaneous tissue. She will carefully assess your condition and find the best treatment options for your case. To learn more about your options, call Dr. Ebanks today at +1 345 946 0067. You can also fill out our online contact form to have a staff member call you at a more convenient time. You can message Cayman Surgery directly at office@caymansurgery.ky

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Skin & Subcutaneous Excisions

Do skin tumors go away?

Precancerous skin lesions can sometimes get smaller or disappear on their own only to return later or develop into skin cancer. So, no, skin cancer and precancerous growths will not go away on their own. If you have a skin lesion that has not gone away within a few weeks to a couple of months, you should probably have it checked by your doctor or dermatologist.

How fast do skin tumors grow?

That depends on the type of tumor and its stage. Most skin cancers grow within a couple of weeks to months. A lesion that is constantly increasing in size is suspicious for skin cancer.

What happens when a cancerous skin tumor is removed?

When a surgeon removes a skin tumor, they also remove healthy tissue around it. This is to look for something called a negative margin, meaning non-cancerous tissue. If this area shows no signs of cancer cells, your tumor will be considered cured. If cancer cells, however, are found in this area, you will need to undergo further testing and treatment.

Is skin excision considered surgery?

When a surgeon removes a skin tumor, they also remove healthy tissue around it. This is to look for something called a negative margin, meaning non-cancerous tissue. If this area shows no signs of cancer cells, your tumor will be considered cured. If cancer cells, however, are found in this area, you will need to undergo further treatment and testing.

How long does skin excision take?

Yes, skin excisions are considered surgery. They are surgical procedures done to remove skin growths and help diagnose potential cancers. Even shave excisions, which remove only a superficial layer of skin, are considered surgery, although minor.

How common is soft tissue cancer?

Simple skin excisions should take no longer than 30 minutes. The duration of the procedure depends on how large and deep your lesion is as well as its location and if it can be closed primarily or needs some tissue transfer or skin graft.

How common is soft tissue cancer?

Soft tissue cancer is rare. It is more common in men and those over the age of 55. Lipomas are very common and are almost never cancerous.

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