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Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Curettage and Electrosurgery for Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

Curettage and Electrosurgery for Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

Surgery Overview

Curettage is the process of scraping skin with a spoon-shaped tool (curette) to remove skin tissue. Electrosurgery is the burning of skin tissue with an electric current that runs through a metal tool or needle. It may be done after curettage to control bleeding and destroy any remaining cancer cells. The wound is then covered with a dressing.

The skin is numbed with a local anesthetic before the procedure. Curettage and electrosurgery may be repeated once or twice. Or they may be combined with other procedures, such as cryotherapy.

What To Expect

What To Expect

Recovery may take 3 to 6 weeks, depending on the extent of surgery. Keep the wound clean and dry. A scab will form over the area.

Why It Is Done

Why It Is Done

Curettage and electrosurgery are an effective way to remove some basal and squamous cell skin cancers. It's usually done only for small, early skin cancers and only in certain places.

How Well It Works

How Well It Works

Treating skin cancer with curettage and electrosurgery can cure it most of the time. But this depends on things like the size, depth, and location of the cancer. Your doctor can tell you if this is a good option for you.

Risks

Risks

Risks of using curettage and electrosurgery for skin cancer include:

  • Skin changes, such as scarred or tight skin, slightly indented or raised skin, or change in skin color to red, white, or brown.
  • Bleeding.
  • Pain.
  • Infection.
  • Recurrence of skin cancer.

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. Learn how we develop our content.

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