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Newcastle upon Tyne Hospital

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131
Customer services 08005 896 89
Outpatients 01912 125 232
Radiology 01912 125 251
Switchboard 0191 281 6131
Benign (non cancerous) lesions can simply be left alone. However if your skin lesion bothers you in any way your consultant may recommend removal.


What happens during excision of skin lesions?

Skin lesions are usually removed under local anaesthetic. After careful examination the area around the lesion will be cleaned with anti-bacterial solution to limit infection. There may be a surgical drape placed around the area to ensure a sterile working area.

When removing an epidermoid cyst, your surgeon will make an oval cut over the cyst and will then cut it out. This shape allows for better stitching and healing.

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 using either a blade and diathermy (needle for sealing blood vessels) or a freezing agent.

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

The lesion(s) will be placed in specimen jar(s) and sent to a lab for analysis. Your surgeon will close the wound with stitches and cover it with a dressing.

After removal of skin lesions

You should be able to go home very soon after your procedure. If you experience any pain following your lesion removal, over the counter pain relief such as Paracetamol can be used.

Results of the analysis will be given to you by your consultant or GP.

Sometimes your surgeon will ask you to return a few days following your lesion removal to inspect the wound and change the dressing. If the wound area becomes red, swollen or bleeds be sure and contact your surgeon or Outpatient Department for advice.

You should be able to return to work the day following your procedure unless your work puts a strain on the area stitched. Be sure and discuss your return to work with your surgeon.

Depending on what area is stitched you will need to visit the Outpatient Department or practice nurse to have your stitches removed. 
It is unusual for this procedure to restrict any daily activities however any surgical procedure can result in complications:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding 
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Scarring
  • Wound breakdown (skin fails to heal)

Specific complications in skin lesions removal

  • A lipoma or an epidermoid cyst can come back
  • A larger operation may be needed

Why not print this treatment page so you can discuss any concerns you have with your surgeon?