Removing benign skin lesions | Better Health Channel

Summary

Skin lesions are common and can be treated by surgery.

What are skin lesions?


Skin lesions are lumps found on or just below your skin. Examples of skin lesions are epidermoid cysts, lipomata, skin tags and moles.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?


Surgery is the only reliable way to remove skin lesions but you may simply leave them alone.

Removing an epidermoid cyst

What does the operation involve?


The operation usually takes 15 to 25 minutes.

When removing an epidermoid cyst, your surgeon will make an elliptical (oval) cut over the cyst and then cut out the cyst (see figure 1).

To remove a lipoma, your surgeon will make a straight cut on your skin directly over it. The lipoma is freed up from the tissues and removed.

A skin tag can simply be numbed with local anaesthetic and then removed.

When removing a mole, your surgeon will cut all the way around it using an elliptical cut.

What complications can happen?


1 General complications


2 Specific complications


How soon will I recover?


You should be able to go home a short while after the operation.

You should be able to return to work the next day unless your work will place a strain on the stitches. It is unusual for these procedures to restrict any daily activities you carry out.

Acknowledgements


Author: Mr Ayan Banerjea FRCS (Gen. Surg.) and Mr Simon Parsons DM FRCS (Gen. Surg.)
Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright 2013 Medical-Artist.com

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Issued: June 2015
Expires: July 2016

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