Can I undergo surgery for Basal Cell Carcinoma under local anesthesia?

Q. Can I undergo surgery for Basal Cell Carcinoma under local anesthesia?

Answered by
Dr. Atishay Bukharia
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 19, 2014 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hello Doctor,

  • I am 60 year old healthy female with medically controlled hypertension.
  • I have Behcet’s disease, though mostly under control.
  • I have had various tropical diseases.
  • I also had hepatitis A at childhood, and TB meningitis.
  • I also have scoliosis
  • I have been diagnosed BCC (Basal Cell Carcinoma) half way down and in the middle of my back.
  • It is about 2cm in diameter and raised about 1cm high.
  • Having had many skin cancers removed previously I expected the same procedure i.e, administration of local anesthesia and excision.
  • However, the general surgeon at the local hospital wants me to have general anesthesia for the surgical removal of BCC.
  • I cannot understand the necessity for a general anesthesia for removal of a BCC (I have had many removed previously without any problem).
  • As I have had adverse reactions to anesthesia before,I am very nervous about this.  
  • Once I had respiratory depression during moderate sedation.
  • Of five previous surgeries, I have had blood transfusions with two.
  • My recent blood work showed low PTT. 
  • Is it necessary that I should undergo surgery under general anesthesia?


Welcome to

You should ask your surgeon the reason behind giving general anaesthesia in your case.

Basal cell carcinoma is a locally invasive tumour with very rare chances of malignancy.

The need for general anesthesia can arise when on clinical examination it was found that the tumour also involves underlying subcutaneous tissue, nerves and surrounding structures.

In such cases we cannot rely upon the local anesthesia as we may have to extend the surgery.

During surgery we have to remove one extra centimetre of the healthy margin to prevent recurrence of the tumour.

This margin will be sent for histopathological examination later, to determine whether margins are free from tumour.

If margins are involved resurgery has to be done.

The size of your tumour is 2cm and may be your surgeon on examination found it to be a deep tumour.

Hence to prevent resurgery, he might have advised surgery under general anesthesia.

As in case of local anesthesia, sometimes it is difficult to extend the surgery especially when underlying nerves are involved.

Do not worry about the general anesthesia as there are few anesthetic compounds which do not cause respiratory depression.

So, inform your surgeon regarding the previous respiratory depression and get treated accordingly.

  • Regarding PTT (Partial thromboplastin time), low value means prolonged clotting time.
  • This can be due to drugs like heparin, nephrotic syndrome and in many cases Behcet's disease can also alter the PTT.

For further follow up, consult a surgical oncologist online -->

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
Cervical Cancer - Causes and Prevention

.. 2025 more than 365 women will die due to cervical cancer everyday. Cervical cancer is caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus ) and mainly affects young women .. ...   Read full

Do my symptoms suggest celiac disease?

Do you have any joint pain, oral ulcers and morning stiffness ... Thank you doctor, I used to get oral ulcer around twice a year ...   Read full

Cancerous Conditions Related to the Eye

.. cause of mortality and morbidity in the developed world and is on the rise among all age groups and social strata. The eye is also not spared from cancerous afflictions and has a whole plethora of cancerous and precancerous conditions that require prop   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

PCOS and Liver Problems
The hormonal imbalances in polycystic ovary syndrome could cause liver diseases. Read the article to know the relationship between these medical conditions.  Read more»
Inferior Alveolar Nerve Lateralization Technique
The inferior alveolar nerve lateralization technique is a surgical lateralization technique to reposition the nerve. Read the article to know more about this.  Read more»
COVID-19 and Ebola: Similarities and Differences
This article gives a comparison and broader overview of the outbreak of the two deadliest diseases that showed a greater incidence over the last two decades.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a Surgical Oncologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.