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Malignant Melanoma

 Melanoma is a tumor arising from the pigmented (dark) cells of the skin or skin nevi. It can also arise from other internal body areas or organs like the mouth, anus, and eye. Presence or absence of distance metastasis is studied using whole body CT scan or a combination of PET scan and MRI of the brain in patients with higher risk to harbor metastasis. Mapping of the lymph nodes is done the day prior to surgery and serves the surgeon for locating and removing the first lymph node that is most likely to harbor metastasis, the Sentinel Lymph Node (SLN). During surgery the tumor is removed with a surrounding healthy tissue and the Sentinel lymph node is identified and removed as well. In cases of melanoma located on the head, face, or neck and in melanomas requiring complex wound closure after excision, a dedicated plastic surgeon will be involved in all the process of surgical planning, surgery, and follow up.