An individual affected by subungual melanoma may need to undergo an amputation of the affected digit to achieve curative treatment. Before the current decade, the only effective treatment for subungual melanoma was determined to be full or partial amputation of the patient's affected digit. It is less common and less effective to amputate at the upper interphalangeal joint of the finger than it is to amputate at the lower interphalangeal joint of a finger to treat subungual melanoma.
New guidelines have been made regarding how much of a digit should be removed in the case of subungual melanoma. A lesion that has become invasive but at a measurement of less than one millimeter, at least one centimeter of the digit should be amputated. Invasive melanoma that has expanded to the size of one to two millimeters should be amputated by two centimeters. Invasive subungual melanoma that has expanded beyond the thickness of two millimeters will need to be amputated by at least two centimeters or greater depending on individual circumstances.