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Surgical removal of benign lesions

Often, there is no medical necessity for the surgical removal of benign lesions. However, the surgical removal of benign lesions is done for comfort or practical reasons, such as when the lesion causes snags on clothing or affects your appearance.

In the case of moles, the surgical removal of benign lesions is often recommended as a precautionary measure to avoid the risk of the mole turning cancerous at a later stage.

Methods of skin surgery

The surgical removal of these benign lesions is usually simple and can be done under local anaesthetic or mild sedation. The type of surgery to remove benign lesions will vary depending on the type and size of the lesion itself.

  • Skin tags are the easiest to remove and can be cut away.
  • Benign moles need to be removed thoroughly to completely eradicate the risk of skin cancer. Often, the removed mole will be sent away to be tested for the presence of skin cancer.
  • Warts can be removed by freezing them with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy) or by surgically removing them.
  • Milia are removed by making a small cut in the skin and squeezing out the keratin (a tough, waterproof tissue found in many parts of your body) from the cyst.

Some benign skin lesions are simply shaved using a laser or fine blade, leaving them level with the surrounding skin.

What to expect

Surgical removal of benign lesions is a simple and largely painless process, which takes just a few minutes. You may only need a routine outpatient appointment, or at the most be admitted as a day case at The London Clinic. You may need to arrange for someone to take you home if you have a sedative.

Following surgical removal of benign lesions, you will need to look after the wound, using the care instructions we will give you before you are discharged.

Alternatives to surgical removal of benign lesions

Some benign lesions will respond well to photodynamic therapy, which uses selected frequencies of UV light combined with photosensitive chemicals to kill off cells. Other benign skin lesions, such as warts, can be treated using topically applied acids, such as salicylic acid.

Ultimately, some benign lesions may not need treating at all, as they are harmless, and some, warts for example, disappear on their own with time.

Our consultants can provide an accurate diagnosis and assessment and can perform surgery if required; this is very much a personal decision and we respect the views of each patient.

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