Skin Lesion Removal
by Editorial Staff And Contributors
Reasons for Procedure TOP
Possible Complications TOP
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
What to Expect TOP
Prior to Procedure
Generally, no special preparation is required.
Local anesthesia will be used. It will make the area numb.
Description of the Procedure TOP
The area will be cleaned. The skin surrounding the lesion will be numbed by anesthesia. Techniques for skin lesion removal vary depending on the reason for removal and lesion location. Common techniques include:
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.
How Long Will It Take? TOP
This depends on which procedure is used. Most are completed within 20 minutes.
Will It Hurt? TOP
Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. You may have some discomfort at the surgery site after the procedure.
Post-procedure Care TOP
When you get home:
Stitches will be left in the skin for 3-14 days, depending on where they are located.
Call Your Doctor TOP
It is important to monitor your recovery. Alert your doctor to any problems. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Academy of Dermatology
Skin Cancer Foundation
Canadian Cancer Society
Canadian Dermatology Association
Diagnostic tests for skin disorders. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated September 2013. Accessed September 29, 2014.
Melanoma. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115302/Melanoma. Updated August 26, 2016. Accessed October 10, 2016.
Pickett H. Shave and punch biopsy for skin lesions. Am Fam Physician. 2011;84(9):995-1002.
6/3/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115302/Melanoma: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, et al. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.
Last reviewed September 2016 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Last Updated: 9/30/2013
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