Dermatological Surgery

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY-503/2023
  • Departments: Dermatology
  • Last Updated: 11 March 2023



This leaflet has been produced to give you general information.  Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and your doctor, but may act as a starting point for discussion.   If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.

What is dermatology surgery?

The procedure will be performed under local anaesthetic and you will be awake throughout the procedure. This means that you will be given a small injection directly into the area of skin where you will be operated on. This initially may cause some localised discomfort, but will make the area numb and the procedure will then be painless. The procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes.

What is Dermatological Surgery?

The procedure will be performed under local anaesthetic and you will be awake throughout the procedure. This means that you will be given a small injection directly into the area of skin where you will be operated on. This initially may cause some localised discomfort, but will make the area numb and the procedure will then be painless. Most procedures usually take less than 30 minutes.

Why do I need the dermatological surgery?

Depending on your condition, the doctor will have discussed surgery as an appropriate option to either treat or diagnose your skin problem.  Alternative treatments to surgery will have been discussed between you and your doctor during your consultation.

Can there be any complications or risks?

All procedures do come with an element of risk. These risks are usually small but it is important you are aware of them.

  • Pain or discomfort – You may experience some pain when the local anaesthetic is being injected, and once this wears off, the area may feel sore.
  • Bleeding, Bruising or Infection – Any wound is at risk from bleeding, bruising, infection or breakdown after surgery. After your procedure you will be given a leaflet which explains how to avoid these complications. If you follow the wound care instructions following your surgery, these problems are uncommon.
  • Scaring – Depending on the procedure, you may be left with a scar. Sometimes a keloid scar develops (this is a raised, lumpy, hard or rubbery scar). If this is a concern, the doctor can discuss this with you in more detail.
  • Further Surgery – Some conditions may require further surgery at a later date, depending on what is found. In addition, some conditions do have the risk of recurring in the future. If you are worried, your doctor can discuss this, if it is relevant to your condition.
  • Nerve damage – In very rare cases, or at high risk sites, there may be a very small risk of nerve damage to the nerves running in the area to be operated on. Again, this is not relevant to all procedures, and can be discussed in further detail with your doctor.

If you have had an adverse reaction to a local anaesthetic or dressings before it is important to inform the doctor.

How do I prepare for the dermatological surgery?

You may share the information in this leaflet  with your partner and family (if you wish) so that they can be of help and support. There may be information they need to know, especially if they are taking care of you following this procedure. We advise that you bring someone with you when you attend for surgery.

  • You should have had a good breakfast or lunch before your operation.
  • If you are having a procedure on your hands or feet or around your eyes, it would be advisable to ensure you have someone to help you get home.
  • If you are taking APIXABAN, please stop taking this 48 hours prior to your planned surgery.
  • If you take WARFARIN, please discuss this in advance with your doctor, as you may need an INR blood check prior to the procedure.
  • If you take CLOPIDOGREL, please discuss this in advance with your doctor, as you may need to stop this for a number of days prior to the procedure.
  • Please inform the theatre nurse, before your surgery, if you have previously experienced any adverse events to any procedures, including fainting episodes.
  • Please note that there is no provision for childcare and anyone under the age of 16 will not be allowed to stay unaccompanied in the department or be in the theatre during the procedure

What will happen?

The procedure will be undertaken in one of the operating theatres in the Dermatology department.

On arrival

Please book in at the reception desk on arrival in the department and take a seat in the waiting area.

Gaining your consent

A theatre nurse will take you to the theatre when ready. A doctor will discuss the procedure with you and answer any further. questions you may have and will gain written consent from you to carry out the procedure.

During the procedure

There may be medical students, trainee doctors and/or student nurses present/assisting during your operation.

After the procedure

Wound care instructions will be given to you after your procedure. Once the procedure is finished you will be asked to stay in the department for 30 minutes to ensure you have recovered from the procedure. You are also advised to refrain from driving until the following day.

What happens afterwards?

The recovery period is 24 to 48 hours after surgery.  Please be aware that in the days following the procedure you should arrange to take a few days off work and/or ask someone to help you at home if necessary.  You should not be performing any strenuous activities (this includes lifting, exercise and housework).  It is important that you should not get the wound wet for 48 hours following the procedure, so please ensure your skin is clean before attending.

Results and follow-up

Your results should be sent to your doctor in approximately 6 to 12 weeks.  You will receive advice on your follow up following your surgery.

Useful contacts

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Dermatology Department on Telephone Number: (01482) 623006.

British Association of Dermatologists –

This leaflet was produced by the Dermatology Department, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and will be reviewed in March 2026. 

Ref: HEY503/2023


General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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