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Mole And Skin Lesion Removal

THE PROCEDURE

Removal of a mole or other skin lesion ("lump or bump" or birthmark) is usually performed under local anaesthetic. The mole is carefully removed by one of Consultant Plastic Surgeons and then carefully stitched.

WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?

The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic (with you awake and the skin numbed by giving an injection). The area is cleaned and covered in sterile drapes for the procedure to begin. Once the skin lesion is removed, any bleeding is stopped as necessary, and the wound is carefully stitched. Occasionally it is possible to use a dressing alone, instead of stitches, and that would be determined by your surgeon at the time. A dressing is then applied to the wound.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

This is a quick and simple procedure with a quick recovery. The resultant scar will gradually fade over time, helped by scar massage, and silicone-based scar cream.

OTHER THOUGHTS REGARDING SKIN LESION REMOVAL

The operation itself may take between 10-minutes and 45-minutes, depending upon what is being removed. You will be in the treatment room for slightly longer than this for the preparation of the surgery and the injection of the local anaesthetic.

After the surgery the wound will usually be dressed with medical tape. This is splash-proof and shower-proof (but not bath-proof!). You will be able to shower from the day after surgery, and dab the tape dry with a clean towel, kitchen towel (or even use a hair-dryer on a cold setting). You will be able to return to sedentary activity (i.e. an office job or light duties) the following day, but should avoid strenuous physical activity for a minimum of 2-weeks. Stitches are removed between 1-and 2weeks after the surgery.

We usually advise that strenuous activity should be avoided for at least 2-weeks. You will be able to drive the following day if the operation was on your face, head or neck. If the operation was elsewhere, it can be advisable to avoid driving for a week. This is because if you had to perform an emergency stop or similar manoeuvre the wound may come apart (from seatbelt pressure or from a sudden movement of your arm or leg). Finally, if the operation was on your face or head, it is advisable not to bend down for 48-hours after the operation, to minimise the risk of bleeding (for example, when doing up shoe laces, bring your foot up whilst sitting down, rather than bending down).

This is a routine safe, reliable and simple procedure with a low complication rate. Occasionally some skin lesions come back in the future, and if so, repeat surgery is usually possible.

Complication rates for removal of skin lesions are low. However, sometimes complications can occur, such as:

  • Wound infection
  • Bleeding (normally “nuisance” bleeding through the dressing)
  • Delayed wound healing resulting in opening of the wound (which may result in either the stitches being left in longer than originally planned, or the need for further dressings on the wound)
  • The formation of a lumpy scar (known as a hypertrophic or keloid scar).

A further problem occasionally encountered is “suture spitting” -this refers to the deeper dissolvable stitches poking out of the wound at some time, often several weeks after the surgery. This happens because sometimes these stitches do not dissolve as quickly as intended, and they then try to work their way out of the wound in much the same way as a splinter would. These stitches can either be removed at one of your check-up visits or they may work their way out on their own.

Prices starts from £425

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