Minor Surgery

Patients advised or recommended for minor surgery need to be assessed first and, if suitable, they will be referred to the Minor Surgery clinic. A wide range of operations are performed under local anaesthetic.

Please note that we do not remove skin tags, moles or benign lesions for cosmetic purposes. We receive regular requests from patients who have skin tags in a variety of locations (especially around the neck and in the armpits). Removal of these tags for cosmetic reasons is not an NHS service and we cannot perform this procedure.

Before your operation

Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the expected time of your surgery in order to assist with the smooth running of the clinic. Please have a shower or bath before coming to your appointment. You can have your meals as normal beforehand, although a light lunch may be more comfortable for you than a large meal.

It is usually best to arrange for somebody else to bring you to your appointment and take you home afterwards. Although it’s unlikely to be a problem, we would not advise travelling unaccompanied by public transport in case you feel unwell afterwards.

What to expect when you arrive for your minor surgery

Before your surgery we will explain exactly what procedure is being done and why. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions about the procedure being performed and/or any alternative treatments – including what would result if you decided not to have surgery. Provided you are happy, you will then be asked to sign a consent form.

We would like to emphasise that any procedures involving cutting the skin will result in a scar. Although this sounds obvious, we frequently see patients who are surprised to hear that they will be left with a scar after cutting out a skin lesion and that sometimes the scar may be more obvious that the original lesion.

If a lesion has been cut out (e.g. a mole) it will be sent for “Histology”. This is routine for all cases and does not necessarily mean that we suspect malignancy. “Histology” means that the sample will go to the hospital, where an expert will look at it under the microscope and provide a definite diagnosis.


You should rest for the remainder of the day. Unless we advise otherwise, any dressings should remain dry and intact for 24 to 48 hours. After 24 to 48 hours you may have a shower or bath, provided the wound is dry. Do not use bubble bath or talcum powder for two weeks, because it could irritate the wound and impair the healing process.


If you have non-dissolving stitches, you will need to book an appointment with the practice nurses to have your stitches removed. We recommend that you book this appointment on the day of your operation before you leave.

Generally, stitches to the head and neck area are removed at around a week after your operation and other parts of the body may have stitches removed up to two weeks after your operation. However, we will advise you of exactly when your stitches should be removed before you leave.

Local Anaesthetic

The local anaesthetic used will start to wear off 3 hours after your operation. We recommend that you start to take some painkillers 2 hours after your operation so that they start to work as your anaesthetic wears off. Suitable painkillers are paracetamol, co-codamol or ibuprofen.


Complications are rare and when we have audited our minor surgery cases we have achieved exceptionally low rates of infection. Signs of infection include a fever, increasing redness around the wound and a mucky green or yellow discharge – as a rule of thumb, any wound that seems to be getting worse over a period of days rather than getting better. If you are concerned that you may have developed an infection, please telephone the surgery to speak to the Practice Nurse so that treatment can be arranged.

You should be able to return to normal activities, including driving as soon as you feel able.

Most patients will be back at work the next day.