Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a lesion removed, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Poor wound healing
Recurrence of the lesion
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Generally, no special preparation is required.
Local anesthesia will be used. It will make the area numb.
Description of the Procedure
The area will be cleaned. The skin surrounding the lesion will be numbed by anesthesia. Techniques for skin lesion removal vary depending on the reason for removal and lesion location. Common techniques include:
Removal with scalpel—The lesion is cut away with a surgical knife.
Electrosurgery—This is the use of an electrical current to selectively destroy skin tissue.
Cryosurgery—A cold liquid or instrument is used to freeze and remove the lesion.
Curettage—This is the scraping of the skin with a circular cutting loop instrument.
Mohs' micrographic surgery—This is used to examine suspected cancerous lesions. Small pieces of tissue are successively removed and then viewed microscopically for signs of
cancer. The goal is to get all the cancer tissue and leave as much healthy tissue as possible.
After the lesion is removed, stitches will be used to close the hole left in the skin. Clean stickers may also be used to help keep the skin closed. A bandage will be placed over the area.
How Long Will It Take?
This depends on which procedure is used. Most are completed within 5-20 minutes.
Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. You may have some pain at the surgery site after the procedure.
Keep the area clean and dry. Keep it covered with a sterile bandage for 1-2 days. If stickers were placed, they will fall off on their own in about a week.
Be sure to check with your doctor about when you may shower after the procedure. Pat the wound dry after you have washed it with a mild soap. Do not submerge the wound in water until it is well-healed.
Take pain medicine if necessary.
Stitches will be left in the skin for 3-14 days, depending on where they are located.
Be sure to follow your doctor's
Call Your Doctor
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a