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What does "not getting all the cells on one margin" after melanoma removal?

Dec 2013
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Answered by

Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 4168 Questions
OK Thank you, I love this site. My husband had a flat, brown, freckled in spots patch of skin on the side of his neck about 1 inch by 3/4 inch, irregular edges. I finally got mhim to see a dermatologist, he got a biopsy and it showed melanoma. He went in and had it surgically removed, 8 stitches and they said the tissue would goto pathology. Then 10 days later they said he needs to come back because the report showed they didnt get all the cells on one margin. How normalis this? I am so scared do they need to to a lymph node or sentinel node biopsy? Should we goto a plastic surgeon.I don't want this to show up again because we didnt do enough. He is 63 yrs.
Posted Sat, 1 Feb 2014 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia 46 minutes later
Brief Answer: Upload report; Ask Dermat for his plan of action Detailed Answer: Hello Madam, Welcome to the forum and thanks for showing confidence in us. I can make out that after the diagnosis of melanoma in your husband you are quite tensed. I can understand your part of consciousness and I am quite empathetic to the same. After reading your query I can make out that your husband's melanoma was compleley removed. We always make it sure that at least more than 1 cm of the surrounding skin must be removed along with teh affected area. As your husband got 8 stiches so it means your treating dermatologist must had taken enough precautions to take out the area completely. I am not able to understand the meassage of "not getting all the cells on one margin". In general the complete tissue is sent to the histopathologist and it is analysed compleletly. So there appears no point in not getting the cells when the complete specimen of skin is with them. I request you to kinldy upload the report so that I can analyze and interpret it compleletly and throughly. If required I will be able to discuss your report with our panel of Histopathologist once I will get the report. In between ask the health personnel or prefereably your treating dermatologist to elaborate exactly what kind of further procedure they are planning. You do not worry, most of the melanomas of this type (flat, brwon and frecked are not very dangerous). Over and above the melanoma is taken out so be at ease. I will be able to help you better after the analysis of report. With regards, Dr Sanjay MD- Dermatology
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