Removing Benign Skin Lesions (Moles, Skin Tags, Cysts)

By Elena Prousskaia MD, FRCS (Plast), FEBOPRAS

This page will provide you with information about the removal of benign skin lesions.

Skin Lesions are small lumps located on, or just beneath, your skin. Skin tags, lipomata, moles and epidermoid cysts are all examples of skin lesions.

In this page, we look at:
• What is a skin lesion
• What happens during excision of skin lesions?

What is a skin lesion?

Benign skin lesion is an umbrella term for a range of lumps and bumps including moles, cysts, keratoses, skin tags, calluses, corns and warts.

Skin lesions are found on or just below the skin. Examples of skin lesions are epidermoid cysts, lipomata (benign tumour of fatty tissue), skin tags and moles.

Benign (non cancerous) lesions can simply be left alone. Benign skin lesions are usually harmless and do not need to be removed. However, you may be advised to have a skin lesion removed if it interferes with your everyday life or it becomes cancerous. You may also decide to have a skin lesion removed because you do not like the way that it looks.

What happens during excision of skin lesions?

Skin lesions are usually removed under local anaesthetic. After careful examination the area around the lesion will be cleaned with anti-bacterial solution to limit infection. There may be a surgical drape placed around the area to ensure a sterile working area.

The lesion(s) will be placed in specimen jar(s) and sent to a lab for analysis. Your wound will be closed with stitches and cover it with a dressing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Likely Complications?

Scarring should be minimal and should fade significantly after three months. Temporary side effects may include swelling, bruising and some pain. Complications are rare but may include:
• Bleeding
• Pain
• Unsightly scarring
• Infection at the site of surgery (wound)
• Nerve damage
• An epidermoid cyst or a lipoma can return
• A larger operation may be required
• Wound breakdown (skin fails to heal)

What Is The Recovery Period?

Shortly after the operation, you should be able to return home, and you should be able to go back to work the very next day, as long as your work does not put a strain on your stitches. However, it is unlikely that these procedures will stop you from carrying out your daily activities. The area treated may be red and raised for a while. If you have had stitches we will advise you when to come back in to have them removed. Dissolvable stitches will usually disappear between 10 to 14 days after surgery. Pain is usually minimal and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relief.

Can This Be Carried Out Under Local Anaesthetic?

Yes normally this procedure is carried out in an outpatient clinic under a local anaesthetic.

Is Removal Of Benign Skin Lesions Painful?

Pain is usually minimal and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relief. Depending on the sort of lesion you have had removed and where it is on your body, you will be advised to avoid stretching the skin in the area where surgery has taken place while you still have stitches.

How Much Does This Procedure Cost?

Please scroll down for more information on pricing.

Can I smoke or vape before my surgery?

Elena does not operate on patients that regularly smoke or vape. To be considered for this procedure you must refrain from smoking or vaping for 3 months before and after your surgery.

Treatment Cost

The total cost of the surgery will be confirmed after the first consultation.

The cost includes the hospital, surgeon and anaesthetic fees. It also covers all post-operative visits. The initial consultation fee will be invoiced separately. The prices apply only at the time of publication and are subject to changes without notification.

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Treatment At A Glance

Surgical Time TBC
Hospital Stay 0 days
Initial Recovery Time 1 - 2 weeks
Anaesthetic Local or general
Final Result 1 - 3 months
Follow Up 1, 4, 12 weeks, 12 months

Treatment Downloads

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Skin Self Exam

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Scars & Keloids Information

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Elena was recommended to me and as soon as I met her I felt entirely comfortable. Her explanations made sense in terms of expectations. Having made the big decision I did feel nervous but had absolute trust and confidence in Elena. I knew I was in the best hands. Elena's team is so supportive, my questions were answered with patience and understanding. My care at the McIndoe Centre was excellent. I am five weeks post op for abdominoplasty and liposuction and last week. Quite amazing to see the before and after pictures! I am so pleased that I was fortunate enough to meet Elena and have no hesitation in recommending her.

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I have been both physically and mentally uncomfortable in my body since I was 12. I was born with ‘breast mutation’ and I first had surgery to correct this through the NHS at 16 years old. The surgery I have had with Elena, 17 years later, has removed the NHS implants, one of which had ruptured, and completely altered the shape of my chest. By doing this she has made me look and feel like a woman for the first time in my life. She is at all times quietly kind and fiercely adept. A true artist. She has surrounded herself with the most wonderful team and I cannot thank them all enough for the new lease of life that I have been given.

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I have been self conscious for the whole of my adult life and I cannot express how much this surgery  has changed things for me. Both mentally and physically. I highly recommend Elena. She supported me throughout my journey from start to finish. Elena is very particular which for me is really important. Elena really took care of me from initial consultation right through to surgery and aftercare.My scaring is minimal and I am absolutely over the moon with my results. Thank you Elena!

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