Minor Excisions & Resections For Skin And Soft Tissue Lesions

When is surgery needed?

There are minor excisional procedures which may be done to remove various kinds of skin and soft tissue lesions including seromas, skin abscesses as well as malignant melanomas, soft tissue tumours and sarcomas.

  • Seromas
    Seroma is caused by fluid which builds up under the surface of your skin; this might present itself in the form of lumps and bumps. They usually occur in the region of a surgical incision or where the tissue was removed. The fluid (also called the serum) starts to build up over a few weeks after surgery.
  • Abscesses
    A skin abscess occurs as a result of infection or foreign materials under the skin and presents itself in the form of a collection of pus. It is painful and feels warm. The skin around the abscess is usually pink or red. Skin abscesses are also called 'boils'. When an abscess fails to heal, or it continues to enlarge and becomes more painful, it needs to be removed.
  • Malignant melanoma
    Melanoma or malignant melanomas are types of cancers that develop in the melanocytes, the cells that contain pigment. They typically occur on the skin but may also develop in the mouth or intestines and should be surgically removed.
  • Large soft tissue tumours & Sarcomas
    A soft tissue tumour or sarcoma is a type of cancer that develops in the tissues such as the muscle, fat, blood vessels, nerves, tendons and joint lining. Common soft tissue tumours include lipoma, angiolipoma and fibromas. These tissues are often benign. If the tumour grows or causes pain, it should be assessed and may need to be removed.

How is surgery done?

During a minor procedure for seromas, Dr Ross might advise draining the seroma if it is too big or too painful. This is done by injecting a needle into the seroma to drain the fluid with a syringe.

During a minor procedure for skin abscess, Dr Ross numbs the abscess area with a local anaesthetic. The affected area is covered with antiseptic solution before placing sterile towels around it. Dr Ross then cuts open the abscess with a scalpel to drain as much of the pus and debris as possible. Once the abscess has been removed, Dr Ross places packing into the remaining cavity to stop the bleeding. The wound is left open for a day or two to drain any excess pus. Lastly, you are bandaged and given home care instructions.

For melanomas and soft tissue tumours, surgery will vary depending on the type of tumour and its location. When removed, excision is done with the goal of minimising risk to surrounding normal tissue.

What can I expect after surgery?

After a minor excision or procedure for a skin lesion, Dr Ross will instruct you how best to care for the surgical site and when you should return to him for a follow-up.


parallax background

Better is possible. It does not take genius. It takes diligence.
It takes moral clarity. It takes ingenuity. And above all, it takes
a willingness to try.

Atul Gawande, Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance


Areas of special interest