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Surgery at Elmwood Medical Practice
Skin surgery is carried out to remove skin lesions to confirm a diagnosis or at a patients request. Lesions may consist of lumps, bumps or changes in the skin. A doctor will review any skin lesions of concern and discuss the best course of action. If suitable for treatment in general practice a 30 minute appointment will be made to treat the lesion. All lesions that are removed are sent to a local pathology laboratory to confirm the diagnosis. There is a charge of 100 euro for removal of a lesion at Elmwood Medical Practice. Some health insurance policies will cover this cost but it is always better to check with your health insurer if you are covered. Not all skin lesions are suitable for removal in general practice and if required your GP will refer you to an appropriate surgeon.
Removing a lesion
Prior to removing a skin lesion the general practitioner will explain how the lesion will be removed and any risks associated with the procedure. He/she will ask you to sign a consent form to confirm that you understand what is going to happen and any risks involved. The doctor will ask you if you have any allergies so that these materials can be avoided during the procedure.
The majority of minor surgery is carried out under local anaesthetic. This means that you will be awake throughout the procedure and will be able to talk to the doctor. Local anaesthetic is injected at the start of the procedure and this may sting a little. The surgery should be pain free but you will be aware of pressure and movement on the anaesthetised skin. If you experience any pain or discomfort you should inform the doctor.
Some local anaesthetics contain a drug called adrenaline which can help reduce bleeding and allows the anaesthetic effects to last for longer. However this can not be used on all areas of the body.
You will be able to drive home afterwards but we recommend that you avoid activities which would cause pressure or traction on the surgery site.
The doctor will choose the most suitable way for each skin lesion to be removed. Some lesions will require cutting using a scalpel (excision) which will require stitches to close the wound. Others can be scrapped off the skin (curettage).
The instruments used at the Elmwood medical practice are all single use instruments and are disposed of after each operation to reduce the risk of infection.
If there is any bleeding from the wound after leaving the surgery, apply pressure with a clean handkerchief or towel for 10-15 minutes. Usually this will stop the bleeding. If this fails to do so please contact the surgery.
Once the local anaesthetic has worn off you may find that there is mild discomfort. This is usually relieved by taking paracetamol or ibuprofen if there are no contraindications to you taking these.
If at any stage the wound becomes increasingly red, painful or discharges material you should contact the surgery as this may be a sign of infection. In this event your GP may prescribe you a course of oral antibiotics.
When the procedure is completed the doctor will let you know when any stitches are to be removed. It is recommended that you ring the surgery three weeks after the procedure to obtain the pathology results.