Skin lesion removals means removing a mole, wart or other skin growth. Most skin growths (lesions) are harmless and do not need to be removed. However, do check with your surgeon as he may recommend removing it if it’s causing significant problems or there’s a suspicion that it could be cancerous. Removal of skin lesions may be covered by Medisave or insurance so do check in with your surgeon today.
Frequently Asked Questions
A skin lesion is an area of skin that is different from the surrounding skin. This can be a lump or a flat area of skin that is not normal. There are benign skin lesions, such as moles, sebaceous cysts, lipomas and dermoid cysts which are non-cancerous. There are also malignant skin lesions which are cancerous and they include squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and melanomas. A skin lesion is an area of skin that is different from the surrounding skin. This can be a lump or a flat area of skin that is not normal. There are benign skin lesions, such as moles, sebaceous cysts, lipomas and dermoid cysts which are non-cancerous. There are also malignant skin lesions which are cancerous and they include squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and melanomas.
Our surgeon will recommend you to have a skin lesion removed if there is any suspicion that it could be cancerous or could become cancerous. Some benign (non-cancerous) lesions look very similar to skin cancer. The only way to tell for sure is to have it removed and examined in a laboratory. Skin lesions that are benign and have no signs of being cancerous can be observed and don’t need to be removed. However, if a skin tag or mole is causing you problems, for instance if it’s catching on clothing, you may prefer to have it removed. You may also decide to remove a lesion if you are unhappy with how it looks or if you find it unsightly.
Some of the signs that suggest that a lesion may be suspicious or cancerous include:
A – Asymmetry
B – Irregular borders
C – Change in colour
D – Diameter > 6 mm
Depending on the clinical diagnosis, our plastic surgeon will advise you accordingly.
It’s important to realise that many of the procedures are likely to leave a scar. Our surgeon will do their best to conceal the scars and keep it to a minimum. Depending on the location of the skin lesion, the scar may be obvious and care has to be taken both pre-surgery and post-surgery to ensure optimal wound healing. Most patients seek the advice of a plastic surgeon for skin lesions on the face or when they are close to vital structures such as the eye, lips or nostrils. Discuss with our surgeon today how the scars would appear and where they can be placed to minimise an obvious scar. If the lesion is malignant or suspected to be malignant, a wider margin of normal skin has to be taken to prevent recurrence. In some situations, reconstructive surgery may be required to restore the normal anatomy of the skin and prevent distortion of the critical structures of the face.
1. Anaesthesia. Most skin lesions are removed under local anaesthesia in our clinic facility which is well equipped for safety and privacy. An injection is given to numb the area before the lesion is excised. Occasionally, patients may request for intravenous sedation or general anaesthesia.
2. Removal of skin lesion.A benign or small lesion may be removed with excision and immediate skin closure with sutures. Occasionally, when the lesion is cancerous, an extra rim of tissue is excised so as to prevent recurrence. Depending on the size of the defect after removal, reconstruction of the skin may be required.
3. Reconstruction. In skin lesions that are particularly large or cancerous, removal is likely to cause disfigurement and reconstruction of a local flap can be done immediately to restore normal anatomy. Healthy, adjacent tissue is rearranged over the wound to provide a tension-free wound closure. Several variations of local flaps can be employed to reconstruct a specific area of the face or body. In certain situations, a skin graft can also be taken from a remote site, such as the groin or back of the ear to reconstruct the defect.
Most of the procedures will be done under local anaesthesia. There will be some pain and discomfort after the numbness of the local anaesthetic has worn off. You may need to take some simple painkillers. There is a variable amount of swelling and bruising which tends to be worse for the first few days after surgery. These should settle within a week. If you have a local anaesthetic, you should be able to drive yourself home. Depending on the work you do, it is best to take a day or two off work. However, if the lesion that you are going to have removed is near the eye, it would be best if you could bring somebody with you to drive you home, in case your vision is altered by swelling.
Your plastic surgeon will make an assessment of the skin lesion and design a stealth incision so that the scar can be concealed along the natural skin creases or shadows of the face. Meticulous skin closure technique ensuring tension-free apposition of the skin is critical in ensuring a good post-operative result. Our surgeon use very fine sutures to ensure that scarring is minimal and that your wound healing is optimised.
After the surgery, a strict regime of silicone scar cream and sunblock is important to ensure that the scar remains flat and does not become pigmented (darker than normal skin). In certain individuals, steroid injections or laser scar therapy may be needed to improve the appearance of the scar.