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 emergency medical services 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 June 2016. Accessed September 5, 2017.
Melanoma. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115302/Melanoma. Updated June 27, 2017. Accessed September 5, 2017.
Pickett H. Shave and punch biopsy for skin lesions. Am Fam Physician. 2011;84(9):995-1002.
6/2/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed...: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.
Last reviewed September 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Donald W. Buck II, MD
Last Updated: 9/30/2013
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.