I will also often be asked to see patients with various lumps and bumps which are either not immediately obvious to the eye (i.e., below the skin) or are not skin cancers. These referrals often come from GPs and dermatologists who may recommend surgical excision. Insurance companies will generally pay for this type of surgery if there are concerns about the character of the lump, for example if it’s growing quickly or if it is symptomatic.
More complex lumps under the skin may sometimes need an MRI or ultrasound examination before we proceed to surgery.
Depending on their size and location they may either be removed as a day-case in the out-patients theatre or in the main theatre, both operations are usually done under local anaesthetic. This process will leave a mark or scar and this is subject to the same process of wound healing and scar formation as any other scar – see Scar Revision – which may be no better, and perhaps even worse, than the pre-existing lump. All excised lumps and bumps are sent to the lab for histological examination.