• basal cell carcinoma;
  • excision margins;
  • head and neck;
  • surgery

Treatment of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) should completely remove the tumour whilst preserving the maximum amount of normal surrounding skin. Therefore, treatment is a compromise between safe excision margins and obtaining a satisfactory cosmetic result. We report the results of a prospective study of 63 patients who underwent excision of well-demarcated BCCs in the head and neck region. The surgical excision margin used was 2 mm. Histological assessment confirmed complete excision in 95% and there was no evidence of recurrence of the BCC over a 24-month follow-up period in all patients. We propose that a clinical excision margin of 2 mm is adequate for treatment of simple, well demarcated BCCs arising in the head and neck.