Melanoma/ Skin Cancer

These are only general guidelines and not meant to replace instructions from a physician. Please talk with your physician about your specific condition.

About The Condition

ABCDE Rule for the early detection of melanomaSkin cancer, which develops in the tissues of the skin, is a common form of cancer. Risk factors for developing skin cancer include spending too much time in the sun or in tanning beds and having a family history of skin cancers.

The three most common forms of skin cancer are basal cell cancer in the deeper layer of the skin, squamous cell cancer on the surface of the skin, and melanoma, which is cancer of the cells that make pigment.

Before Surgery

Prior to your surgery for skin cancer, you may need additional evaluation with imaging studies. Occasionally, some patients are referred to medical or radiation oncologists before surgery to discuss options for non-surgical treatments depending on the type and stage of the skin cancer.

In addition you may be asked to:

Please ask your physician about any additional steps you should take before your surgery.


melanomaSurgery for skin cancer involves removing the area of cancer and underlying fatty tissue as well as a margin of normal-appearing skin and fatty tissue around the cancer. The size of this margin varies based on the type of skin cancer you have, as well as the size of the cancer and its location. This margin is determined to decrease the risk of the cancer coming back or recurring at the same location. The method of closing the incision is based on the size of the area removed as well as the location of the cancer. While most of these areas are closed as a straight line incision with sutures, a small percentage may require a skin graft, where skin is transferred from another part of the body to allow for wound closure. Your surgeon will be able to discuss this in detail at your consultation.

In addition to removing the cancer in the skin and a margin of normal-appearing tissue, your surgeon may discuss removing a lymph node sample at the time of surgery for some skin cancers based on characteristics noted at the time of your initial biopsy. Your surgeon will discuss this with you at your consultation, if it applies to you.

After Surgery

If you have additional questions, please contact us at 763.780.6699.

Surgeons Who Treat Melanoma/Skin Cancer

Adrianne L. Bowen, MD


  • Breast cancer
  • High-risk breast disease
  • Benign breast disease
  • Endoscopy
  • Minimally invasive laparoscopic/robotic general surgery
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  • Advanced laparoscopy
  • Robotic assisted surgery
  • Reflux disease/GERD
  • Paraesophageal hernia
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Gallbladder surgery
  • Weight loss (bariatric) surgery
  • GI surgery
  • Abdominal wall hernias
  • Groin hernias
  • Upper endoscopy
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Jonathan C. Gipson, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Gastrointestinal surgery
  • Pancreas and foregut (esophagus and stomach) cancer surgery
  • Complex laparoscopic and robotic surgical procedures, including gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and hiatal hernia
  • Emergency surgical procedures
  • Surgical management of trauma
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Kamrun Jenabzadeh, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Robotic assisted surgery
  • Advanced laparoscopy
  • Reflux disease
  • Achalasia
  • Gallbladder pathology
  • Benign and malignant gastrointestinal pathology
  • Colorectal oncology
  • Complex hernias
  • Groin hernias
  • Complex ventral and hiatal hernias
  • Endocrine, such as adrenal, thyroid and parathyroid diseases
  • Diastasis recti
  • Colonic endometriosis
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Kourtney L. Kemp, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Esophageal disease and diagnostics
  • Heartburn/reflux
  • Robotic and laparoscopic surgeries
  • Hernia surgery
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Colon/bowel/gallbladder disease
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Steven J. Kern, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Robotic surgery
  • Gallbladder Surgery
  • Hernia Surgery
  • Surgery for Esophageal Reflux
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Matthew K. Kissner, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Minimally invasive surgery for hernia repair
  • Complex repair of ventral/incisional hernia
  • Robotic surgery, advanced laparoscopic surgery
  • Colon surgery
  • Thyroid surgery
  • Parathyroid surgery
  • Colonoscopy and upper endoscopy
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Sarah J. Lippert, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Advanced esophageal¬†procedures
  • Trauma surgery
  • Hernia surgery
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Corey J. Stennes, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Thyroid disease
  • Parathyroid disease
  • Adrenal disease
  • Repair of complex hernias
  • Hiatal hernia and reflux surgery
  • Gastrointestinal malignancies
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rachel tay, MD


  • Colon resections
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Minimally invasive surgery for hernia repair
  • Complex repair of ventral/incisional hernia
  • Robotic surgery, advanced laparoscopic surgery
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  • Benign and malignant breast disease management
  • Breast surgical oncology
  • Hidden scar surgery
  • Surgical management of skin cancers
  • Soft tissue tumors/lesions
  • Acute care general surgery
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