What is surgical excision?

resection Means “surgical removal”. In medicine, the term refers to the use of a scalpel, laser, or other cutting tool to remove growths, tissues, organs, or bones.

In contrast to taking a sample of tissue or body part, resection refers to the removal of an entire section of a structure. For example, a lumpectomy is an excisional biopsy that removes the entire breast tumor. This is different from a core biopsy where only a portion of the mass is taken.

Surgery to remove a specific part of the body usually ends with a “-resection” suffix. Appendectomy (removing the appendix) and cholecystectomy (removing the gallbladder) are two such examples.

This article describes 10 different resection procedures used to diagnose or treat disease. It also lists the different healthcare providers who frequently perform resections.

Why do excisions

Surgical excision is often used to cure the disease.Even so, additional treatments—called adjuvant therapy—may be prescribed back Surgery to prevent disease recurrence.

For example, a person may receive adjuvant radiation therapy after the tumor has been removed to ensure that all remaining cancer cells are killed.

On the other hand, neoadjuvant therapy can be used forward Surgery makes it less invasive and more effective. For example, neoadjuvant chemotherapy can be prescribed before surgery to shrink the tumor and make it easier to remove without complications.

Who performs surgical resection?

Surgical removal is usually performed by surgeons, some of whom are general surgeons, who can perform procedures such as appendectomy and cholecystectomy. Others are specially trained and certified to treat specific organ systems.

Examples of specialists performing excisions include:

  • Neurosurgeons who treat disorders of the brain and central nervous system
  • surgical oncologist treating cancer
  • Orthopedic surgeon specializing in bone and joint disorders
  • Cardiothoracic surgeons, who treat diseases of the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest

Resection can be done in a hospital, or outpatient in an office, clinic, or surgical center.


Surgical resection is usually performed by a surgeon, although some techniques and procedures require specialized training and certification.

Which specialist is right for your surgery?

10 Examples of Resection Surgery

In addition to lumpectomy, appendectomy, and cholecystectomy, there are other excision procedures used to diagnose or treat disease (or both).

Some excisions are performed as traditional open surgery, involving a scalpel and large incisions. Others are performed laparoscopically, which means using specialized tools that operate through smaller incisions.

Depending on the procedure, local, regional, or general anesthesia may be used, or no anesthesia at all.

excisional skin biopsy

This procedure is often recommended for certain skin cancers, including low-risk and high-risk basal cell carcinoma, low-risk and high-risk squamous cell carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and thin melanoma.

An excisional skin biopsy, also called a wide local incision, involves removing the tumor and some normal tissue around it (called a clinical margin). The size of the margin depends on the thickness of the tumor.

In some cases, a skin graft or flap is used to cover the wound. Other wounds only need to be sutured.

different types of skin cancer

tumor craniotomy

This surgery involves removing part of the bone from the skull (craniotomy) to gain access to the brain so that the tumor can be removed. Tumors can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Nearly all tumor craniotomies are performed using computerized navigation techniques called stereotaxic. This increases the accuracy of the procedure and reduces the size of the incision required to perform the resection.

Removing the tumor requires specialized scalpels and scissors, a suction device called an ultrasonic aspirator, and a special microscope.

Primary and metastatic brain tumors

myxoma resection

This is surgery to remove a benign heart tumor called myxoma, usually located in the upper left chamber of the heart. Myxomas account for approximately 50% of all cardiac tumors.

Surgical removal is the only way to treat myxomas. Because fibroids are so fragile and prone to rupture, their removal often requires open surgery to allow clearer access to the heart chambers.

Open Heart Surgery: What to Expect

venous malformation surgery

This is one of two treatments used to remove venous malformations.These are caused by vascular lesions that are present at birth but grow over time, resulting in painful, hardened blood clots called Phlebolith.

Surgical treatment of venous malformations involves removing the abnormal vein and some of the tissue around it.

Another treatment is sclerotherapy, which involves injecting chemicals into the veins to shrink them. It is usually pre-applied to reduce bleeding and make the deformity easier to remove.

Bone tumor resection

This surgical procedure is used not only to remove malignant bone tumors, but also to remove benign tumors that can become malignant. Removing the tumor can help reduce the risk of fractures.

If cancer is present, radiation and/or chemotherapy are usually given after surgery to remove the tumor to prevent the cancer from spreading and to help protect the limb.

Metal plates or bone grafts can be used to stabilize and strengthen the bone.

When lung cancer spreads to the bones

Functional endoscopic sinus surgery with polypectomy

Minimally invasive surgery is used to locate and remove soft, benign growths called polyps from the nasal passages. It is used when conservative treatments such as nasal steroids do not provide relief.

The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia using a rigid scope called an endoscope. Once a polyp is found, it is quickly removed with tweezers, a cutting tool, or a cylindrical razor called a micro weeder.

Nasal Polyp Surgery: What to Expect

Colonoscopy and Polypectomy

This is a common procedure performed during colonoscopy (called a colonoscopy). As a precaution, any polyps that are found are removed before they become cancerous.

This procedure is usually performed under Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC), which results in “twilight sleep.”

If a larger polyp is found, a tool on the oscilloscope can clamp it so that it can be sent to the lab for evaluation. Smaller ones may also be removed, but some may be marked with tattoo ink for easy identification and revisiting at future colonoscopies.

Preparing for a colonoscopy

endometrial ablation

This is the complete removal of uterine tissue that has grown outside the uterus in people with endometriosis.

Robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery is commonly used for endometrial ablation. This involves inserting specialized instruments through tiny keyhole incisions in the skin. These tools are operated outside the body with a master control.Any excess tissue is then destroyed with high heat (called electrocautery).


orchiectomy It is surgery to remove one or both testicles. Mainly used to treat testicular cancer or advanced prostate cancer.

Orchiectomy begins with an incision just above the pubic bone. The testis, spermatic cord, and tumor are then removed from the scrotum and removed through the opening.

The surgery can be performed laparoscopically or openly.

acromioclavicular joint resection

This is a surgery to remove the damaged area acromioclavicular joint The joint (ACJ) is located where the clavicle (clavicular) and scapula (scapula) meet. The purpose of this is not to destabilize the shoulder itself.

This surgery is often used when the joint is severely damaged by arthritis or injury. Surgeons use specialized endoscopes (called arthroscopes) and laparoscopic tools to shave and smooth the worn surface of the joint before cutting and removing a piece of the collarbone.

The joint will be stabilized by the ligaments that connect the broken bone.


There are many different types of surgical removal. Some may be performed on an outpatient basis at a health care provider’s office without anesthesia. Others may require open surgery in the hospital under general anesthesia.


Resection is the removal of growths, tissues, organs, or bones with a cutting tool such as a scalpel or laser. It means removing an entire growth or body part to diagnose or treat a medical condition (sometimes both).

Resections are usually performed by surgeons on an outpatient or inpatient basis.

There are many different types of surgical resections for a variety of reasons, from treating cancerous and benign tumors to endometriosis, organ damage, and other conditions. Some may be performed through open surgery, while others may involve less invasive procedures.

VigorTip words

the word resection It may seem serious, but it doesn’t have to be. Removal of moles for cosmetic purposes is also a form of excision. In the end, excision simply means that a part of your body is being surgically removed.

If you’re going to have any surgical removal, ask your doctor why you need it, what it involves, what the risks are, and whether there are other, less invasive options that might be equally effective. In the end, you’re not questioning your doctor’s judgment; you’re just getting all the information you need to make an informed choice.

How to prepare for surgery

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between excision and excision?

    Resection is the surgical removal of an entire organ, an entire part of an organ (such as a lung lobe), or an entire body part. Resection is the removal of a part of a body part or a complete part of tissue. For example, a mastectomy is the removal of the entire breast, while a lumpectomy is the removal of the tumor from the breast.

  • How is skin cancer treated with excision surgery?

    Surgery to remove is often the only treatment required for basal cell skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancer, and early-stage melanoma. In addition to the tumor, some surrounding tissue was removed and tested to make sure there were no cancer cells in it.

  • Can I get a tattoo cut?

    Yes, you can have a surgical excision to remove the tattoo. Cut the skin from the surrounding skin with ink and close the wound with sutures. The procedure may require local or general anesthesia, and it usually leaves scarring.