What is Minor Surgery?
Minor surgery is an umbrella term for surgery that can be done in a GP surgery without the need for a full general anaesthetic. It usually means the removal of lumps, bumps and moles.
Who will perform my Minor Surgery?
Dr Aaron J Brown is our surgical GP at the practice. He is a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England but retrained in General Practice.
I have a lump / bump / mole can it be removed for free on the NHS?
There is a lot of variation over the country about what can and cannot be removed on the NHS. Due to its limited resources, the NHS usually cannot perform minor surgery that is deemed ‘cosmetic’ i.e. lumps and bumps that do not cause a medical problem but may be unsightly.
What type of thing can be removed?
Skin tags are very common soft harmless lesions that appear to hang off the skin.
Skin tags develop in both men and women as they grow older. They are skin coloured or darker and range in size from 1mm to 5cm. They are most often found in the skin folds (neck, armpits, groin).
How can skin tags be removed?
Skin tags are usually removed with cautery (a hot wire), freezing or cutting. At Stonegate Medical Clinic we use cautery to whip them off at their base.
Seborrhoeic Keratoses / Seborrhoeic Warts
A seborrhoeic keratosis is a benign (harmless) lesion that resembles a wart. They usually appear during adult life as we age.
An individual seborrhoeic keratosis can easily be removed if desired. At Stonegate Medical Clinic we remove these by curetting them (basically scraping them off the skin).
A sebaceous cyst forms when a sebaceous (sweat) gland blocks and swells to form a collection under the skin. These are usually harmless but they can become infected and cause pain / discomfort.
At Stonegate Medical Clinic we remove these by making an incision over the cyst, removing it whole and then using stitches in to close up the gap.
Lipomas are fatty lumps under the skin which are usually benign (harmless). Very occasionally lipomas can mimic certain very early cancers and so the doctor will decide whether we can just remove it or we should get a scan first.
It is removed in exactly the same way as a sebaceous cyst.
Most moles are harmless. On the NHS if the doctor is worried about a mole being potentially a cancer then they fast track you to see dermatologist quickly. Most moles are not cancerous and therefore if you want them removing the NHS does not have the resources to do this.
We remove the mole by cutting a rugby ball shape around the mole, removing it and then putting stitches in to bring the wound edges together.
A Pricing Guide
Most procedures require a similar set of tools for the surgeon to use and so the prices vary according to the time it takes and also the number of specimen pots we have to send to the lab for testing.
We send everything we cut out of you to the lab for testing. This is for your safety as sometimes cancers surprise us and can be found in the most innocent lesions. If you have a few lesions then they usually have to travel in different pots; this is for your safety.
e.g Let’s say you had some skin tags removed from your shoulder and your forehead; we put them all in the same pot and send them to the lab. The doctor from the lab then calls us to tell us there is something suspicious of an early cancer in the pot. We would then be stuck to know where the suspicious lesion was from.
This does, unfortunately, make it more expensive to remove a few lesions as we have to charge extra for each pot we send off to the lab.
A Guide to Anaesthetic
We perform all of our procedures as pain-free as we can possibly make them. Dr Brown is committed to making your procedure as comfortable as possible. In order to achieve this we usually use local anaesthetic which is an injection that numbs the nerves that supply that area of skin.
You will feel a sharp scratch as the anaesthetic is injected, similar to a bee sting. After that we aim for you not to experience any pain thereafter.