Minor Surgery Patient Information

You have been referred by your GP to undergo a minor surgical procedure. This typically involves the removal of a skin lesion or cyst.

The GP Surgeon will discuss the nature of the procedure, options and associated risks and benefits beforehand. To remove a skin lesion requires a cut to the skin and subsequent wound, which then has to heal, leaving a faint scar.

You will also be informed of postoperative wound and if required stitch and dressing care. If stitches are used you will be asked to make an appointment with your Practice Nurse at the appropriate time to have them removed. Please be aware that sometimes we use dissolvable stitches that do not require removal, but we cannot use them all the time. Where deeper stitches are used, they are usually dissolvable but they lie under the wound and so are not visible.  

How long will the surgery take?

Depending on the complexity of the surgical procedure and the site of the lesion, surgery can take from around 15 minutes to 45 minutes. As far as possible we endeavour to run on time, however in unavoidable circumstances where there is a delay, we will inform you.

Pre-Operative Advice

  • Please wear appropriate clothing
  • You may bring a friend or relative if necessary
  • Please wash on the day of your operation
  • Do not shave the area
  • Eat a good breakfast on the day of the operation
  • Do not stop any medication especially those to thin your blood e.g. Aspirin, Clopidogrel, Dipyridamole or Warfarin, unless specifically instructed to do so by the GP Surgeon.
  • Most people can drive following the surgery

Please inform the GP Surgeon if you:

  • Have any known allergies especially to anaesthetics
  • Have a pacemaker or similar implanted device
  • Have any metalwork or joint replacements
  • Have problems with lying flat for up to thirty minutes
  • Have problems with wound healing or suffer with any medical conditions that may affect the wound e.g. Diabetes or Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Would prefer a chaperone

Think something has gone wrong?


Redness around the wound margin/ stitches is normal and part of healing. Typically settles in around 5 days.


If you have any worsening swelling and redness after the operation or green/ yellow discharge then you may have an infection. Please contact your GP Surgeon via the website/ number above, or the Out of Hours Service via 111. You do not always require antibiotics for a mild infection.


A small amount of bleeding is common after the procedure. 10 – 15 minutes of applying direct pressure is usually sufficient to stop any bleeding. Elevation of the affected area if possible is also helpful. If it continues after 15 minutes please contact your GP Surgeon or 111 as above.


If you feel sick or faint following the procedure please advise the GP Surgeon who will treat you, typically by lying you down and raising your legs. You may need a period of observation before going home.


Allergies to anaesthetics is rare, however please advise the GP Surgeon if you have had a previous reaction. Adrenaline in the anaesthetic can cause palpitations (heart racing). We can exclude the adrenaline if this has happened before. If it occurs it is likely to wear off after a few minutes, and you may need a period of observation before going home.


Scarring is inevitable after any minor surgery procedure. Occasionally thick scars can occur (keloid scars) as a result of your individual tendency to form scar tissue. Certain areas of the body are more likely to form keloid scars (front of the chest, upper arms and back).

Nerve damage

If a large area of skin is removed, small nerves can be cut which causes numbness and sometimes pins and needles. In most cases this settles with time but can leave a numb area around the scar.

Wound Care Information

Here is some information to help you to continue to manage your wound healing.

  • If your wound has a dressing, keep this clean and dry until your next appointment as directed.
  • You can wash after 24h hours, but please ensure you dab the wound dry afterwards.
  • If your wound no longer requires a dressing, keep clean and dry. Allow water to wash over this gently, no direct high pressure water to the wound until fully healed. And do not directly rub or wash with perfumed soaps or moisturisers until fully healed. When drying the wound, dab gently, do not rub with any pressure.
  • If your wound shows signs of infection, please see the nurse at the surgery again as soon as possible. Signs of infection include pain, heat, swelling, redness, offensive smell, thick yellow or discoloured discharge around the wound site. And if you are feeling unwell in yourself.
  • If you are prescribed antibiotics at any time, if clinically needed for the wound, take as prescribed and ensure you finish the course.
  • Once your wound is fully healed, and has been for at least 1 week, if needed you can use unscented moisturiser such as E45 to encourage continued good wound healing.
  • Avoid swimming with all wounds, due to risk of infection and delayed wound healing. Once wounds have been healed for 4 weeks (dependent on the wound) this can be considered, ensuring healed wounds are dried carefully after.
  • If you have any concerns or problems, please do not hesitate to contact the surgery.


The information above is available to download and print on this link.

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