Different types of minor surgery may be used to treat unusual or suspicious lesions. Your doctor will determine the best suited treatment and discuss these options with you. For more detailed information on any of these procedures please see our Forms page.


A biopsy is sometimes performed if a lesion appears unusual or suspicious.
A small part of the lesion (2-3mm diameter) will be removed under local anaesthetic for study by a pathologist to help make the diagnosis.

You may be required to come back for a larger excision depending on the results of your biopsy.

Curette and Cautery

The curette is an instrument that “scrapes” away the bulk of some skin cancers. Normal tissue is usually not affected by curetting.

The Cautery (or diathermy) part of the procedure allows the surgeon to seal off any bleeding and at the same time “mop up” any residual tumour cells not removed by curetting.


An excision is the complete removal of a suspicious lesion or skin cancer. The doctor will perform the excision in our theatre room under local anaesthetic. The lesion that is removed will be sent to a pathologist for further examination.

Once the lesion is removed the doctor will insert some stitches to close the wound and a dressing will be applied. You will need to return to the Clinic to have the stitches removed in a week or two depending on the area treated.