Excision of a Skin Lesion

What is excision of a skin lesion?

An excision is a procedure to remove a growth (lesion) from your skin.

When is it used?

You may have this procedure to remove a mole or other growth for cosmetic reasons or to check to see if it is cancer. You may also have a lesion removed if it rubs against your clothing or is uncomfortable.

How do I prepare for this procedure?

  • You may or may not need to take your regular medicines the day of the procedure. Some medicines (like aspirin) may increase your risk of bleeding during or after the procedure. Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines and supplements that you take. Ask your provider if you need to avoid taking any medicine or supplements before the procedure.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have any food or medicine allergies.
  • Follow any other instructions your healthcare provider gives you.
  • Ask any questions you have before the procedure. You should understand what your healthcare provider is going to do. You have the right to make decisions about your healthcare and to give permission for tests or procedures.

What happens during the procedure?

You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. Your provider will cut a patch of skin around the lesion. He will remove the patch of skin with the lesion and then close the wound with stitches, staples, skin glue, or surgical tape.

If there’s any concern that the lesion might have cancer cells, it can be sent to the lab to be checked for cancer.

What happens after the procedure?

You may stay at the hospital or healthcare provider’s office for a short time. The area where the lesion was removed may be sore for a couple of days. When it heals, there will be a scar.

It is important to follow the instructions your provider gives you for caring for the wound after the surgery. This can prevent infection and help create the smallest, least visible scar. Ask your provider:

  • How and when you will hear your test results
  • How long it will take to recover
  • What activities you should avoid and when you can return to your normal activities
  • How to take care of yourself at home
  • What symptoms or problems you should watch for and what to do if you have them

Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup.

What are the risks of this procedure?

Every procedure or treatment has risks. Some possible risks of this procedure include:

  • You may have problems with anesthesia.
  • You may have infection or bleeding.
  • The lesion may grow back.
  • A lumpy scar called a keloid may form where the lesion was.

Ask your healthcare provider how these risks apply to you. Be sure to discuss any other questions or concerns that you may have.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-03-05
Last reviewed: 2014-10-30
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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