Before your operation
- Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the expected time of your surgery in order to assist with the smooth running of the clinic.
- Please have a shower or bath before coming to your appointment.
- You can have your meals as normal beforehand, although a light meal may be more comfortable for you rather than a large meal.
- It is usually best to arrange for somebody else to bring you to your appointment and take you home afterwards. Although it is unlikely that there will be a problem, we would not advise travelling unaccompanied by public transport in case you feel unwell afterwards.
- Clothing: it would help to wear loose fitting clothing. You will not be required to strip off completely as usually we only need to expose the affected area.
- You will be awake throughout the procedure and no sedation is given. The operation will be conducted under local anaesthetic. To achieve this, you will be given an injection with a very fine needle to make the area go numb. You will feel a mild discomfort for a few seconds as the anaesthetic is administered and following this, you will feel no pain at all.
- Apart from a parent accompanying a young child, we are not able to accommodate companions in the minor surgery room but they are welcome to sit in the waiting room whilst you are having your operation.
When you arrive for your minor surgery
You should go to the Reception desk to check in. It is very important that you arrive on time or earlier, because any delays will transfer on to following patients.
Before your surgery, Dr Justin will explain exactly what procedure is being done and why. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions about the procedure being performed and/or any alternative treatments – including what would result if you decide not to go ahead with surgery. Once you are happy, you will then be asked to sign a consent form.
With any surgical procedure that involves cutting of the skin, this will unfortunately result in a scar in this region. Although this sounds very obvious, frequently patients are surprised to hear that they will be left with a scar after cutting out a skin lesion and that sometimes the scar may be more obvious that the original lesion.
Should a lesion be removed/cut out (e.g. a mole), it will be sent to the hospital laboratory for “Histology”, where an expert will look at it under the microscope and provide a definite diagnosis. This is routine for all cases and does not necessarily mean that we suspect anything sinister, for example, a malignancy. For this reason, we like to see all patients who have lesions cut out at around 1 month after the procedure to check that the scar is satisfactory, that there are no complications and to discuss the histology result with the patient.
After your operation
You should rest for the remainder of the day.
Unless advised otherwise by Dr Justin, any dressings should remain dry and intact for 24 to 48 hours. After 24 to 48 hours, you may have a shower or bath, provided the wound is dry. Do not use bubble bath or talcum powder for two weeks, because it could irritate the wound and impair the healing process.
Not all procedures involve stitches but should you have non-dissolving stitches, you will need to book an appointment with the practice nurse to have your stitches removed. We recommend that you book this appointment on the day of your operation before you leave at Reception.
As a general rule, stitches to the head and neck area are removed at around a week after your operation and other parts of the body may have stitches removed up to two weeks after your operation. However, either Dr Justin or the nurse will advise you of exactly when your stitches should be removed before you leave.
The local anaesthetic used will start to wear off approximately 3 hours after your procedure. We recommend that you start to take some painkillers (for example – Paracetamol or Ibuprofen) 2 hours after your operation so that they start to work as your anaesthetic wears off.
Complications though rare can occur
Such complications may include increased bruising or swelling and infection. Signs of infection include fever, increasing pain and redness around the wound, yellow or green discharge from the wound.
As a rule of thumb, any wound that seems to be getting worse over a period of days rather than getting better. If you are concerned that you may have developed an infection, please telephone the surgery to speak to the Practice Nurse so that treatment can be arranged.
You should be able to return to normal activities, including driving, as soon as you feel able to do so and generally, most patients will be fit to return to work the following day.