When you think of having a surgical procedure carried out, you likely think of going to a hospital. While most surgeries are carried out in a hospital setting, there are some minor surgeries that are often available from your GP practice. These minor surgeries tend to be carried out for cosmetic or wellbeing reasons rather than to address a health risk, but opting to have minor surgery at your GP practice can be quicker than waiting for a hospital appointment. Aftercare, such as wound checks and dressing changes, will also be carried out by your GP. These two skin conditions can be treated at your GP practice.
Sebaceous Cyst Aspiration
Sebaceous cyst aspiration is a relatively common surgical procedure carried out by GPs. This type of cyst occurs when the small sebaceous glands just under the skin that produce oil get blocked and clog up. Dead skin cells and keratin collect around the blocked gland and form a cyst, which can remain the same size for years or grow continuously. These cysts are harmless, but they do sometimes become infected and antibiotics are required to eradicate the infection. They can develop anywhere, but they are commonly found on the back and scalp. Those with sebaceous cysts tend to want them removed either because they feel self-conscious about them or their location causes discomfort.
To aspirate the cyst, your GP will first inject local anaesthetic around the site of the cyst until the area is numb. They will then use a scalpel to make a single incision across the cyst. The cyst will then be aspirated and cleaned out with an antiseptic wash, and a dressing will be applied to prevent bacteria from entering the wound. Your GP will follow-up with you after a week or so to ensure the incision has healed and there are no signs of infection.
Skin Tag Removal
Skin tags are overgrowths of skin that are joined to the skin on your body by thin stalks. They are harmless and are commonly found on the eyelids, armpits and neck. They can be uncomfortable and can catch on clothing when dressing and some patients can also feel self-conscious about them.
To remove skin tags, your GP will use local anaesthetic to numb the areas and will either use a scalpel to cut off small skin tags or use cryotherapy to remove large individual skin tags or clusters of skin tags. Cryotherapy involves applying liquid nitrogen to the affected area, which freezes the skin cells and prevents blood and oxygen reaching the skin tags. This causes the skin tag tissue to die and they will fall off within a few days of treatment.
If you have a health complaint that may require minor surgery, contact your GP practice to find out what surgical procedures they offer.
Talk to your doctor today to learn more about surgery.