Dermatologic Surgery

Surgical Procedure Preparation Instructions

The doctor should know about your medications, allergies (to medications and dressings) and any medical problems. If any such information has not been given to the doctor, please do so as soon as possible. In particular your doctor should know if you have any of the following:

  • heart valve problem
  • on any medications that thin the blood such as aspirin, and warfarin. In general you will continue on these medications unless instructed otherwise. If you are taking warfarin you will require a blood test just prior to your surgery
  • joint replacement
  • a pacemaker, implanted defibrillator or cochlear implant
  • any history of unusual or excessive bleeding
  • any problems with previous surgery

You should stop supplements that can thin the blood (eg Fish oil, garlic, certain anti-inflammatories) 2 weeks prior to the surgery unless they have been specifically prescribed by a doctor for a serious condition.

Continue all other prescribed medications unless instructed otherwise.
Eat normally on the day of surgery.

On the day of the Procedure

The area will be cleansed with antiseptic. A local anaesthetic will be injected and discomfort is usually surprisingly mild. After this you will feel no pain. The lesion will be removed and then sutured, usually with a combination of dissolving and non-dissolving sutures.

After the Procedure

The non-dissolving sutures will be removed in around 7 days depending on the procedure. You will be given a post-operative instruction sheet, however in general you will have a bulky dressing that stays in-tact for 24-48 hours. After that you may shower but not swim. You should have a period of rest that will be determined by the size of the procedure and you will be informed of this.

You may require several days off work for which you will be given a medical certificate.You may be given a course of oral antibiotics.

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