Skin Lesion Surgery


Learn about Your Health    Try Health Tools     

Lesions on the skin are lumps or bumps such as moles, cysts, warts or skin tags. Most skin lesions don't cause serious problems, only a few can be cancerous.

Sometimes the purpose of skin lesion removal is to excise an unsightly mole or other cosmetically unattractive skin growth. Other times, physicians will remove a skin lesion to make certain it is not cancerous, and, if it proves cancerous, to prevent its spread to other parts of the body.

Techniques for skin lesion removal vary depending on the reason for removal and lesion location. Common techniques include:

  • Removal with scalpel—use of a surgical knife to cut away the lesion
  • Laser surgery—use of a high-energy beam to destroy skin tissue
  • Electrosurgery—use of an electrical current to selectively destroy skin tissue
  • Cryosurgery—use of a cold liquid or instrument to freeze and remove the lesion
  • Curettage—scraping of the skin with a circular cutting loop instrument

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.

Post-procedure Care 

Keep the area clean and dry. Keep it covered with a sterile bandage for 1-2 days. If stickers were placed, they will fall of on their own in about a week.

Be sure to check with your doctor about when you may shower after the procedure. Pat dry the wound after you have washed it with a mild soap. Do not submerge the wound in water until it is well healed.

Take pain medication 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 instructions.