Excision Of Skin Lesions
Excision of a skin lesion is usually done under local anaesthetic. However, multiple skin lesions may require a general anaesthetic or sedation.
If you do not want to feel the local anaesthetic needle, you may have the procedure done under sedation or general anaesthetic.
An ellipse is usually made around the skin lesion.
Sometimes a local flap may be designed to close the defect.
The wound is usually closed with non-dissolving sutures.
Skin excision carries a small risk of bleeding, infection and wound breakdown.
If the lesion removed lies over an area where a sensory nerve travels, this may rarely be injured during the excision which will result in a small area of numbness.
Pain is mild and will be felt once the local anaesthetic wears off about 3 hours after the procedure.
If you require pain-killers, you can use Panadol or Neurofen (provided you have no contra-indications to using these medications)
Scalp wounds are dressed with an ointment (Chlorsig) which you should apply three times a day for 3 days. You can shower normally after 24 hours.
A waterproof dressing is used elsewhere. It stays on for 7 days.
If the dressing is wet, it is important to report this to your nurse or doctor as it needs to be changed. If this happens after you leave hospital, you need to see your local doctor or contact us.
After 7 days, when this dressing is removed, it is okay for the sutures or staples to be exposed to air and to have a shower without covering the wound.
You cannot go for a swim or soak the wound in a bathtub for at least 2 weeks or until after your follow up wound review.
Sutures will be removed after 5 days from the face, 7 days from the scalp, 10-12 days from the trunk or arms, 12-14 days from the legs or back.
The procedure is usually performed in the rooms and you can drive yourself home.
If the procedure is performed under sedation or general anaesthesia, you can go home the same day but will need to be picked up as you cannot drive until the next day (preferably 24 hours after the anaesthetic)
You will be given a follow up appointment for your sutures to be removed. Pathology of the removed skin lesion will be discussed at the same time.