Excision of a Lump

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The Treatment Centre contact details:

  • Day Surgery Unit 01908 995468 or 01908 995469.
  • Treatment Centre Reception 01908 995452.

What is it?
You have a lump, mark or blemish that is causing you worry or problems. There are three good reasons to have this removed.
• You will be free from symptoms;
• It will no longer be there to worry you;
• It enables us to examine it under a microscope to find out what it is.

The operation may be performed under local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic; this will be discussed with you when you are first seen by the surgical team in clinic. You will be given further
information about the anaesthetic you are going to have.

All patients who are coming for elective surgery under general anaesthetic will attend for a pre-assessment. This assessment will allow the nurse to provide a full health screen. This helps us to know that you are fit for an anaesthetic and your operation. Our main aim is to minimise the chance of your procedure being cancelled on the day of surgery.

Day of Surgery
Please follow the instructions that you are given. This is to make sure your stomach is empty, as it is dangerous for you to have an anaesthetic if your stomach is full. If you do not follow these instructions, your operation will be cancelled. (The length of time for no food or drink will be advised in your appointment letter.) If you are having a general anaesthetic an anaesthetist (the Doctor who looks after you when you are asleep) will come to the ward to ask some questions.

You will also be seen by a member of the surgical team who will want to ask you some questions and will obtain your consent for your operation. One of the ward nurses will also ask you some
questions. There will be many patients admitted for surgery and some waiting is to be expected. Before proceeding to theatre, a checklist will be performed and you will be asked to remove all jewellery, dentures, contact lenses, makeup and change into your gown.

When it is time for your operation you will be taken to the theatre department where a member of the theatre team will meet you. You will be asked similar questions to those you were asked on the ward, these are routine checks for your own safety. The sutures and dressings used during your operation will be decided by the surgeon at the time of the procedure according to the clinical requirements of the wound. You be advised as to the most appropriate post-operative wound management by the ward nursing staff prior to your discharge.

You may be taken into the Anaesthetic room where some monitoring equipment will be attached to you. At this time the anaesthetic will be given to you.

After the Surgery
Following surgery you may be taken to the recovery room where you will be monitored before returning to the ward. You will normally be discharged either the same day, or the following day. It is a good idea to make sure that you have some painkillers available at home as you may experience some discomfort. Discuss with the nursing staff what painkillers you have at home to help with pain relief. This usually settles down after a few days. You may bath or shower as normal, but avoid using scented products as these can irritate the wound.

Your stitches may be dissolvable or need removing (usually about 1 week after your operation) – you will be advised about this before leaving hospital. Please make an appointment with your practice nurse at your GP’s surgery to have this done.

What are the risks?
Surgery is usually very safe and effective. However, risks and complications can occur. You need to be aware of them in order to make an informed decision about surgery. Knowing about them will also help with early detection of a problem and help with early treatment. If you are worried about anything, whether in hospital or at home, ask a member of the healthcare team. They should be able to reassure you or identify and treat any complications.

General complications
• Pain – occurs with every operation. Efforts will be made to minimise the pain. A local anaesthetic may be injected into the skin to ease the pain for several hours after the operation. You may be
given medication to control the pain.
• Bleeding – can occur either during or after the operation. It is common to get bruising around the area operated on.
• Infection – in the surgical wound, this may need treatment with antibiotics. This usually settles after a few days.
• Scars – a small percentage of people have an inherited tendency to scars that are unusually red and raised. This may cause an unsightly scar, but is of no further consequence.

On discharge – at home
• It is essential that you have a responsible adult to take you home, either by car or taxi.
• It is normal to have swelling/bruising around your wound and this will settle over a week or two. However, if the area becomes hot to touch, very painful, or you are feverish, please contact your
own GP.
• Depending upon the nature of your job you may return to work as soon as you are comfortable. This is usually within 2/3 days of surgery unless advised otherwise.
• You must not drive for at least 48 hours after your operation if you have had a general anaesthetic. You can begin to drive when you feel comfortable.

After discharge, if you have any problems, please contact your own GP or non-emergency number 111.

People are unique and the alternatives, risks and benefits will of course vary from person to person. It is possible that the lump may grow back. This will discussed with you before your procedure.
We hope this leaflet will support the information you have already received from your doctor in enabling you to make an informed decision.