Dr Richard Look Tong performs the Minor Surgery for the practice. Clinics are held most Wednesday afternoons at our Delvin Health Centre. Patients have to be seen by one of the Doctors first and, if suitable, they will be referred to the Minor Surgery clinic. A wide range of operations are performed under local anaesthetic* (i.e. by making the area numb while still awake, rather than “General anaesthetic” which entails “putting patients to sleep”!).
We regularly review and audit our Minor Surgery. We do this to quality check our results and to help identify any potential problems.
Before your operation:
What to expect when you arrive for your minor surgery
You should go to the Reception desk at our Coole surgery to book in. It is very important that you arrive on time, because any delays will transfer on to following patients.
Before your surgery, Dr Richard 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 very 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. For this reason, we like to see all patients who have lesions cut out at around 1 month after the procedure to check that the scar is satisfactory, that there are no complications and to discuss the histology result with the patient. This appointment is during normal surgery at your “usual” surgery and you should make it by contacting reception in the usual way.
After your operation:
You should rest for the remainder of the day
Unless Dr Richard advises 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.
Not all procedures involve stitches and we conduct many minor surgical procedures using the latest “no scalpel, no stitches” techniques. However, 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. Appointments to have stitches removed can be arranged reception on the day of your operation.
As a general rule, 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, either Dr Richard or the nurse will advise you of exactly when your stitches should be removed before you leave.
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, or ibuprofen.
Complications are rare and when we have audited our minor surgery cases we have achieved exceptionally low rates of infection and very high levels of patient satisfaction. 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.
Minor Surgical Procedures
Here are some examples of the types of surgical procedures that we carry out at DCHC.
Please note this list is not exhaustive.