Skin lesions

You may have skin lesions or lumps and bumps that have been referred for removal, eg ganglion, lymph node biopsy, skin cancers

Q: What is this procedure?

This means cutting out a lump or bump or mole that you can see or feel on the skin.

Q: Why do I need to have this operation?

Often the reason for removal of skin lesions or lumps is that your doctor wants to ensure it is not cancerous.  It may also be for comfort or cosmetic reasons.  After being examined by your surgeon, it may be decided that the lesion should be removed without further testing.  However when it is not clear what the lump is, you maybe sent for further investigations such as an ultrasound prior to the operation.

Q: What symptoms will I experience with this problem?

Generally you should not experience too many symptoms from a skin lesion or lump.  They can occasionally be painful or unsightly.

Q: What scar will I have?

Depending on how big the lesion is, you will have a scar over where the lesion sits.

Q: What anaesthetic will I have and do I have a choice?

Most of these operations can be done under local anaesthetic.  However, if you prefer to have it done with sedation or general anaesthetic, please advise your surgeon.  If the lesion is very big, you will need a general anaesthetic.

Q: What are the possible complications and what are the chances that they occur?

Complications are minimal and are often related to the wound such as infection. Depending on where the lesion is on your body, your surgeon will advise you of more specific risks.

Q: Will it be painful?

You may feel mild pain around the wound.  We suggest paracetamol to be used initially for pain relief.  If you require stronger pain killers see your family doctor.

Q: Should I not be doing certain things after the operation?

Try to keep your wound clean and dry.  Do not stretch the scar. 

Q: How long should I be off work?

Depending on the work you do and also depending on where the lesion is situated, you often will not require time off work.  You will need the day of the procedure off.  Advise the surgeon of your circumstances.

Q: What if things don't go according to plan after the operation?

You should see your surgeon or family doctor.  

Q: When will I see my surgeon for review?

Your appointment will be made usually within 2 weeks for a review.  At the review the surgeon will inspect your scar and discuss with you the pathology results.  Depending on the result, you may require further testing or reviews.  The majority of the time your review visit is the final visit to the surgeon.  If you have any concerns you can raise it with the surgeon during your review visit.