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Minor Surgical Procedures

Minor Surgical Procedures

Split or Stretched Earlobe Repair – Ear lobes may split or stretch with time after use of ear rings or after injury.   This can result in either a split ear lobe or widened piercing hole.  Regard less of the reason, it is possible to carry out a plastic surgical procedure on the earlobe to repair it. Specialist techniques such as using rotation flaps may needed for earlobe repairs.  This may help aid a more rapid recovery and ability to wear earrings earlier.

Sebaceous Cyst Removal – Cysts that form under the skin are very common and can occur in any part of the body. They are usually filled with a thick white or yellow fluid, which can sometimes be fowl smelling. This fluid is because of the secretions of the skin. Sometimes they discharge spontaneously, and sometimes they get infected. They can be confused with lipomas. Treatment is surgical remocal, leaving behind a small scar. 

Lipomas – These are fatty lumps under the skin. They grow slowly over time and are painless to the patient and not tender to touch. They can occur in any part of the body. Lipomas can be removed by surgical excision or liposuction. 

Milia – Milia are very small, raised, pearly-white or yellowish bumps on the skin. They are most often seen on the skin around the cheeks, nose, eyes and eyelids, forehead and chest. However, they can occur anywhere on the body. They are a type of tiny skin cyst filled with a protein called keratin. Treatment is to remove them individually using a hyfrecator machine. 

Surgical Removal of Tattoos – Some people might regret having some tattoos and wish them to be removed. The most common method of tattoo removal remains by the use of lasers.  Advances in laser technology include pico second lasers.  These can reduce the number of sessions required.  Laser tattoo removal will often need multiple sessions over long periods of time.

For certain tattoos, surgical excision of tattoos may be an option.  This method will completely remove the tattoo if possible or it may require staged multiple procedures for larger tattoos.  There will be a permanent resultant scar in place of the tattoo.  The scars will fade with time but will always be present.

Skin Tag Removal – Skin tags are harmless skin growths that may be flesh coloured or brown. They are most commonly found around the neck, armpits, groins, trunk and around the eyes. They vary in size from very small ones up to larger skin tags. Skin tags can become troublesome when they catch on clothing or jewellery. This can result in bleeding of the skin tags. They can be easily removed by freezing or by excision leaving hardly any marks. 

Complex Scar Management – Scars following trauma or elective surgery most often leave neat scars behind. However sometimes that’s not the case. Scars can be problematic, unsightly, raised or remain red. Sometimes scars can be hypertrophic scars that may be raised, red or wide but within the boundaries of the existing scar. In other situations, scars can be keloid scars that may be large and raised but also grow beyond the boundaries of the original scar. There are some risk factors for developing keloid scars that include dark skin types and particular areas of the body such as ears, shoulders, and chest. There may be hereditary or genetic factors in developing these scars.

These types of scars can be very difficult to treat. The usual first line for treatment of hypertrophic scars is to massage and protect from the sun. If that fails, then the use silicone gels and sheets to cover the scars may help reduce redness of scars and can help reduce their size if used regularly. In addition to that specialists’ pressure garments can be created. The next step for managing difficult scars is the use of steroid injections. Finally lasers or peels can be used to help with the colour or irregularities. 

Steroid injections can help reduce redness and size of these scars as well as the itching sensation that these scars can have. Patients will often need a course of steroid injections to see the benefits of treatment. Injections can be repeated every 4-6 weeks.

Surgical correction of scars is possible but it is essential you speak to a plastic surgeon specialised in scar management. Dr Souéid in addition to being an aesthetic plastic surgeon, he is also a burn surgeon specialising in scar management. He can build with you a strategy to manage your scars. 

Mole Removal – Most moles are benign or non-cancerous.  Mole removal may be performed for cosmetic reasons or if there are any concerns about a mole.

If you have a longstanding mole that has not changed then the likelihood is that your mole is benign.  To help identify if a mole is dangerous there are certain features to look out for and these include:

Size – if a mole is more than 5mm in size or if it has grown in size

Shape – if the mole is irregular

Border – if there are irregular borders

Colour – if there has been a change in colour or if the mole has variation in colour within it

Bleeding – if there has been bleeding without injury

Itching – if a mole has developed itchiness

If your moles has any of these features you should arrange a consultation for assessment of the mole.

There are a number of ways to remove a mole and the three main techniques are:

  • Shave excision
  • Laser mole removal
  • Surgical excision

Shave excision involves shaving a raised mole flush with the skin. This can only be done on benign moles. There will be a scar where the mole has been removed usually the size and shape of the mole. The scar will initially be red but should settle over a few months. This method removes only the raised part of the mole and so the roots may still be present. There is, therefore, a risk of recurrence or the mole growing back.

Laser mole removal involves using a special laser, either an erbium or CO2 laser, to remove the mole.  This technique essentially burns the mole layer by layer until it is flush with the skin surface.  The resultant scar is similar to that of a shave excision. It is generally a mark which is similar in shape and size to that of the mole.  Laser does not allow for any specimens to be sent for histology and so is not recommended if we are concerned about changes in a mole. There is a risk of recurrence with this method as well.

Surgical excision is removal of the mole in its entirety and is best if we are concerned about a mole and want it to be analysed. The resultant scar is usually a straight line scar.  

 

 Duration – 10 – 40 Minutes

 Hospital stay – Outpatient

 Costs – from £99

 Return to work – Immediate

 Location – London, Birmingham, Manchester, Reading, Beirut, Doha

Frequently Asked Questions

How are minor surgical procedures performed?

Minor surgical procedures are performed as outpatient procedures under local anaesthetic. The local anaesthetic can be either a cream or an injection and that helps to numb the area to allow the procedure to be performed.

How long does it take for the wound to heal?

Some procedures will need sutures some will not. If not sutures are involved then a small dressing is applied which can be removed in 24 hours and an antibiotic ointment is used. Sometimes a dressing is required for longer. Dr Souéid will advise you. If the procedure will involve stitching, then the stitches will normally stay in for a week or two (Dr Souéid will advise you) and then you will have them removed.  The wound will then go through stages of wound healing that means that it will change from looking red to gradually fading with time.  We say it takes up to 18 months for a scar to fully settle.

When can I have the ear pierced after an earlobe repair?

Generally it is recommended that you should wait about 4 months before having a repeat piercing.  

How can I help the scar settle?

There are things you can do to help the scar settle more quickly. Massage the scar once healed with a bioactive cream. Use suncream twice a day for 12 monhs. You can use a silicone based scar cream daily for 4 months. 

What are the risks with minor surgical procedures?

Scarring

All methods of surgery will leave some form of a permanent scar.

Infection

Infection is uncommon but can occur. 

Bleeding

Some bleeding or oozing can be expected. This usually stops quickly with a little pressure to the area.

Incomplete excision 

Some techniques such as shave excision or laser mole removal may not fully remove the mole. This is also the case with surgical excision although the likelihood of incomplete excision with surgical excision is less common.

Recurrence 

There is a risk of the recurrence.