What is included in postoperative care following excision of melanoma?

Updated: Mar 08, 2019
  • Author: Jonathan B Heistein, MD; Chief Editor: Gregory Gary Caputy, MD, PhD, FICS  more...
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Answer

Answer

Send the lesion and lymph node specimens to experienced pathologists for review. After the primary tumor is evaluated, the lymph node(s) should undergo hematoxylin and eosin staining. If findings are negative for melanoma, use immunohistochemical techniques. Specific staining for S-100 protein and HMB-45 monoclonal antibody increases the detection of lymph node micrometastases. More elaborate techniques using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction are still investigational. They can detect the tyrosinase gene, which is specific for the melanocyte.


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