13 doctors weighed in:

My dermatologist found a melanoma on my arm. She will remove it tomorrow, how long till I know how serious it is?

13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ally-Khan Somani
Dermatology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Less than a week

If most of the lesion was sampled with a biopsy first then the severity or stage of the melanoma is known.
Melanoma in situ and thin melanomas are excised with appropriate margins and the cure rate is extremely high. Once the dermatologist removes the lesion with appropriate margins there is a small chance that the pathologist may upstage the melanoma. It takes about a week to get results back.

In brief: Less than a week

If most of the lesion was sampled with a biopsy first then the severity or stage of the melanoma is known.
Melanoma in situ and thin melanomas are excised with appropriate margins and the cure rate is extremely high. Once the dermatologist removes the lesion with appropriate margins there is a small chance that the pathologist may upstage the melanoma. It takes about a week to get results back.
Dr. Ally-Khan Somani
Dr. Ally-Khan Somani
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2 doctors agree

In brief: Few days

Most modern pathology laboratories maintain 24-48 hour turn around time for results from time of receipt on a sample like a skin excision.
It may be a little longer if the specimen is sent long distance a commercial laboratory out of you local area.

In brief: Few days

Most modern pathology laboratories maintain 24-48 hour turn around time for results from time of receipt on a sample like a skin excision.
It may be a little longer if the specimen is sent long distance a commercial laboratory out of you local area.
Dr. Daniel Sudilovsky
Dr. Daniel Sudilovsky
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Dr. Carlo Contreras
Surgery - Oncology
2 doctors agree

In brief: About 1 week

After it is removed, the melanoma is sent to the pathologist.
The pathologist treats the tissue, and then cuts very thin slices. These thin slices are then viewed under a microscope. The preparation step can take several days, but typically you should have your response in about 1 week. The most important information relates to the depth of the melanoma, which is measured in millimeters.

In brief: About 1 week

After it is removed, the melanoma is sent to the pathologist.
The pathologist treats the tissue, and then cuts very thin slices. These thin slices are then viewed under a microscope. The preparation step can take several days, but typically you should have your response in about 1 week. The most important information relates to the depth of the melanoma, which is measured in millimeters.
Dr. Carlo Contreras
Dr. Carlo Contreras
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Dr. Travis Kidner
Surgery - Oncology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Depth

The most important characteristic of melanoma is the depth of the tumor. Melanoma's less than 1mm have less risk than those over.

In brief: Depth

The most important characteristic of melanoma is the depth of the tumor. Melanoma's less than 1mm have less risk than those over.
Dr. Travis Kidner
Dr. Travis Kidner
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Dr. Darryl Blinski
Surgery - Plastics

In brief: Bx of Melanoma

Timing for the pathologic classification of a biopsied melanoma can take 7 days.
So check after a week.

In brief: Bx of Melanoma

Timing for the pathologic classification of a biopsied melanoma can take 7 days.
So check after a week.
Dr. Darryl Blinski
Dr. Darryl Blinski
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Dr. Richard Orr
Surgery - Oncology

In brief: Probably OK

I assume that it has already been biopsied, so the deramtologist will already know how thick it is.
Most melanomas require evaluation of lymph nodes by a surgeon. If your dermatologist does not refer you to a surgeon, it probably means that your melanoma is in the earliest stage, ia, which has a very high cure rate with a minor office procedure by the derm.

In brief: Probably OK

I assume that it has already been biopsied, so the deramtologist will already know how thick it is.
Most melanomas require evaluation of lymph nodes by a surgeon. If your dermatologist does not refer you to a surgeon, it probably means that your melanoma is in the earliest stage, ia, which has a very high cure rate with a minor office procedure by the derm.
Dr. Richard Orr
Dr. Richard Orr
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