What is an excision surgery like?

How can one prepare for excision and what should they expect?

Community Answer

  1. Judy Cloud moderator says:

    This is a great question. The excision surgeries I’ve had in my dermatologist’s office are surprisingly fast. The physician’s assistant has me sign the authorization and acknowledgment of ‘what can happen’, then she takes a photo of the area to be removed. My doctor then marks the area that she will be removing. Then come the numbing shots. The last excision I had required 11 shots. My doctor started with 8, but I still had feeling in the area when she tested to see if I did. Once I was completely numb, she started cutting. I couldn’t really feel that, just a slight bit of pressure. It was not uncomfortable though. Then she cauterized the blood vessels to help stop the bleeding. This part is unpleasant, because of the smell. Skin burning isn’t a good smell. Once the bleeding stopped, she started the internal stitches. My last incision was 3 inches long, so the stitching seemed to take forever. I could feel pressure with the stitches, both the internal and then the external. Once the stitching was done, the assistant put a large pressure bandage and plenty of surgical tape on the wound. I got dressed, then went to work. I was in the doctor’s office less than 30 minutes from start to finish. About four hours after the surgery, the numbing shots started wearing off so I took a few Advil. The pain was gone the next day, although I had to be careful to not do anything that would rip open the stitches for the next couple of weeks. Two weeks later the stitches came out, and the scar looked great. As far as preparing for it, when I’m having a procedure like this I keep reminding myself that ‘this time tomorrow it will be over with’ or ‘by 9:00 I’ll be at work and it will be finished’. It’s natural to have anxiety, but I’ve found that if I try to focus on something after the procedure, that helps me not dwell on the surgery itself. Hope this helps!

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