What are skin lesions?
Skin lesions are found on or just below the skin. Examples of skin lesions are epidermoid cysts, lipomata, skin tags and moles.
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
Surgery is the only way to remove skin lesions reliably but you may simply leave them alone.
What does the operation involve?
The operation usually takes between fifteen and twenty five minutes.
When removing an epidermoid cyst, your surgeon will make an elliptical cut over the cyst and will then cut it out (see figure 1). To remove a lipoma, your surgeon will make a straight cut in the 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?
General complications of any operation:
- Infection in the surgical wound
- Unsightly scarring
- Wound breakdown, if the skin fails to heal
Specific complications of this operation:
- A lipoma or an epidermoid cyst can come back
- A larger operation may be needed
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 following day unless your work will put a strain on the stitches. It is unusual for these procedures to restrict any daily activities you carry out.
Skin lesions are common and can be treated by surgery.
Paying for your operation
Removing benign skin lesions (under local anaesthetic) repair costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the operation will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.
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