Excision is a minor surgical procedure where a doctor cuts out a spot or lump on the skin. This enables diagnosis of the removed piece of skin by a skin pathologist.
Also known as:
A dysplastic naevus is an abnormal-looking mole which is usually harmless but in rare cases can develop into melanoma. This type of mole often closely resembles a skin cancer to look at, so the only way to be sure of the diagnosis is to remove it and have it examined by a skin pathologist.
It used to be thought that dysplastic moles would develop into melanoma if untreated, but in fact this happens rarely. So-called "severely" dysplastic moles are the most likely to develop into melanoma, and may require further treatment. There is evidence that "mildly" dysplastic naevi (the most common type) almost never progress to melanoma.
The main concern is that people with multiple dysplastic moles have a higher than average risk of later developing melanoma somewhere else on the body. For this reason, we recommend that people with a diagnosis of dysplastic naevus have a full body skin cancer check at least every 12 months.