The mainstay of melanoma treatment is surgery. This takes many forms – from wide excision of the primary site, to node sampling (Sentinel Node Biopsy), complete node clearance or removal of distant metastases. This section explains the surgical treatment as well as the use of high dose chemotherapy in recurrent disease.

Axillary Dissection

Axillary dissection is an operation performed under a General Anaesthetic (going to sleep) which removes all of the lymph nodes (glands) in the armpit.

Learn more about Axillary Dissection

Complete lymph node dissection

Learn about Complete lymph node dissection.

Learn more about Complete lymph node dissection

Groin Dissection

This operation is performed if you have had a sample of lymph nodes removed and one of those nodes contained melanoma cells.

Learn more about Groin Dissection

Isolated limb infusion

Isolated limb infusion (ILI) with anti-cancer drugs is a form of treatment which may be offered to patients with recurrent melanoma or other types of tumour confined to a limb.

Learn more about Isolated limb infusion

Neck dissection

A neck dissection is an operation to remove lymph nodes from the neck on one or both sides. The lymph nodes need to be removed if they contain melanoma.

Learn more about Neck dissection

Sentinel node biopsy

The sentinel lymph node biopsy procedure involves three steps - Lymphoscintogram, Intraoperative lymphatic mapping and Selective biopsy of lymph nodes.

Learn more about Sentinel node biopsy

Skin surgery and reconstruction

Most wounds created by excision of melanoma can be stitched directly closed.  Where possible, incisions are oriented to give the best scar by hiding these in the natural wrinkle-lines, especially on the face.

Learn more about Skin surgery and reconstruction