If you are required to take photographs of your skin condition or would like to take these along to your appointment with the dermatology service then please follow the advice in this video.
This information has been designed to help you prepare for skin surgery procedures. Please take time to read this information prior to attending the clinic.
The procedure will be performed under a local anaesthetic by one of our skin surgery specialists. You are able to eat and drink as usual prior to the procedure. It is recommended that you have someone accompany you to the appointment as you may not be able to drive home, particularly after surgery to the face, neck, head or hands.
Please do not stop taking your usual medication ahead of your appointment; and check to see if any of the following areas are applicable to you
Smoking: Impairs the skin’s ability to heal. If you are able to stop smoking for 2 weeks before and after the operation the overall wound healing will be improved.
Medical Conditions: If you have diabetes, epilepsy, a bleeding disorder (including a low platelet count), a pacemaker, cochlear implant or any implantable device, prosthetic heart valves or any other significant medical conditions then please let us know.
Allergies: Please inform of any allergies, particularly to antibiotics, dressings, latex and anaesthetics.
Please arrive at least 10 minutes before your appointment time. On arrival, you will be asked to wait in the waiting area before being brought into the treatment room. The clinician will describe the procedure and answer any questions you may have. You will be asked to read and sign a consent form once all the risks and benefits of the procedure have been discussed.
Local anaesthetic will be injected into the site for your required surgical procedure. This causes a stinging sensation lasting several seconds. The area then becomes numb and no discomfort should be felt. The lesion is biopsied or excised and sent to the laboratory for pathological analysis (checked under a microscope). The wound may be closed with stitches – on the skin surface and often underneath the skin (these will dissolve over several months). A dressing will be applied. Occasionally, you may be prescribed a course of antibiotic tablets to be taken after the surgery. It is important that we know if you have any antibiotic allergies.
Skin biopsy analysis – the results
All skin surgery specimens are sent to our pathologists for analysis. The result is usually available within 4 weeks but may take longer if further analysis is needed to reach a diagnosis. A member of the Dermatology Team will either write to you, or contact you over the phone with the results, or request a follow up appointment to see you.
Keep the area completely dry for 48 hours. At this stage the dressing can usually be removed. The area can be gently washed once a day, and you can apply a thin smear of ointment. If you prefer you can keep the wound covered with a simple dressing which should be changed daily.
If the wound starts to bleed, apply firm continuous pressure for 30 minutes. Slight bleeding in the few hours after surgery is common and is aggravated by activity. Hot drinks or bending down can cause bleeding, especially on facial wounds. Swelling and bruising is common, especially after facial surgery, and can be lessened by use of an ice pack. Use extra pillows after facial surgery and elevate the leg after lower limb surgery.
Do not use make-up near a wound until the surface has completely healed. Avoid swimming until the wound is completely healed. The scar will be strong by 30 days – and is at its weakest during the first 10 days. Too much activity can put strain on the healing scar. This can lead to stretching of the scar or bursting of the wound. Surgical wounds on the lower leg generally take a lot longer to heal.