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Electrodesiccation and Curettage (ED&C)

Electrodesiccation and Curettage (ED&C)

Electrodesiccation and Curettage (ED&C) is a surgical procedure used for decades to remove certain skin lesions such as warts, angiomas, actinic keratosis, basal cell skin cancers, and squamous cell skin cancers. First, a small injection of local anesthetic is placed.

Scraping or burning-off skin growths can be used for less serious skin cancers, pre-cancers, and benign growths. A local anesthetic is injected, and then the abnormal tissue is scraped off with a special tool. The area is then cauterized until the bleeding stops. This may be repeated if the growth is cancerous. The wound will need to be dressed until it heals, and it usually leaves a small white mark.


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Electrodesiccation and Curettage Procedure

Curettage and electrodesiccation is an outpatient procedure, typically performed in a doctor’s office rather than in a hospital. While it may sound uncomfortable, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area.

  • During the procedure, the doctor first cleans the skin and then applies a numbing medication.
  • Once the area is numb, the doctor uses a curette to scrape away abnormal cells, which are sent to a laboratory for testing.
  • Once the tissue has been removed, the skin is cauterized to kill off any remaining cancer cells and stop the bleeding.
  • The doctor may need to repeat the process several times. If there’s more than one area of concern, a C&E may be performed on multiple parts in one treatment.
  • When finished, the doctor covers the wound with a bandage and provides after-care instructions on how often to change the dressing, when and how to clean the wound, and when to return for a follow-up appointment. There are typically no stitches required.

Generally, you’ll need to wash the wound twice per day with clean water, then cover it with petroleum jelly and a nonstick bandage.

Frequently Asked Questions – ED&C

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