Melanoma in Situ

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I recently had minor surgery to remove a mole and the Byopsy revealed that it was a Melanoma in Situ. The Doctors have now requested I have further surgery as a precaution for it not to return and they suggested plastic surgery, why will I need that?

Also how serious is this as they have told me it's fine they caught it early, but can it return, in the sqme place or elsewhere?

Kind regards


  •  Hi Jackson5

    Thanks for getting in touch and welcome to the online community. My name is Karen and I am one of the Cancer Information Nurse Specialists on the Macmillan Support Line.  

    You say that you have recently had minor surgery, and this has revealed melanoma in situ. It is common to need further surgery after this called a wide local excision. This is when an area of healthy skin and tissue is removed from around where the melanoma was. How much tissue they remove depends on:

    • whether any of the melanoma cells were left behind in the surrounding skin
    • how deeply the melanoma has grown into the tissue beneath the skin
    • the position of the melanoma on the body
    • whether the surgery will affect your movement afterwards (for example, if the melanoma is close to a joint)

     If the surgeon thinks that the wound won’t close easily with stitches, they may need to use a skin flap or skin graft, sometimes called plastic surgery.

    A doctor will examine the removed area of skin under a microscope and look for melanoma cells. Your medical team are gradually building up a picture of the extent of your melanoma which is also called the ‘stage’ of your melanoma. To understand melanoma staging, see melanoma staging explained.  Once the information has been examined and reviewed, you will be invited back for an appointment to discuss the results of your surgery.

    It is good that your doctors have said they have caught it early. Surgery for melanoma is usually performed with the aim of cure and most people diagnosed with melanoma are cured after their original surgery. However, melanoma is a type of cancer and there is a risk of the cancer coming back. You will have regular follow up appointments with your medical team to ensure that your melanoma has not returned. These visits will include a full skin examination.

    If you have further questions or want to talk through, please don’t hesitate to call us on our support line.

    You may wish to have a look at our online community Melanoma forum where people with a melanoma diagnosis share experiences and emotional support, discuss cancer treatment options, side effects and more.

    I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions, the Macmillan Support Line offers practical, clinical, financial, and emotional support.

    Best wishes


    Karen, Cancer Information Nurse Specialist 


    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email