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Excision of Facial Tumors

Introduction and background

Authors: Frederik Gulmark Hansen, med.stud., Magnus Balslev Avnstorp, MD


This chapter teaches you the basics of facial tumor excision and the subsequent suturing of the defect.

To learn about local flaps to close excision defects please go to the chapter Facial flaps where is it described
The chapter Facial flaps teaches you how to reconstruct facial defects using local flaps.


Langers Lines: The natural lines of skin tension (wrinkles), which corresponds with the orientation of the collagen fibers in the dermis (fig. 1)

Select anatomical location in the menu for region-specific excisions


Excision of facial tumors was first described in the Indian “Compendium of Sushruta” back in 600 BC. (1).
Excision of facial tumors are, as most other skin excisions, most often performed to remove tissue that is either suspected of malignancy (e.g. melanomas, squamous cell carcinoma or basal cell carcinoma) or benign tissue (e.g. seborrheic warts).


Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and Nevi suspicious of melanoma are the 3 most common tumors excised from the face. Click the links, for more information on the topics.


  1. 1 – Bhishagratna Kaviraj KL (1907). An English translation of the Sushruta Samhita in three volumes , (volume 1, 2 and 3, archived by University of Toronto) 1907. 
  2. 2 – Breuninger H, Dietz K. Prediction of subclinical tumor infiltration in basal cell carcinoma. J Dermatol Surg Oncol 1991;17:574-8.

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