Elective Minor Surgery: Skin Biopsy, Removal of Skin Lesions and Growths, Incision and Drainage of Cysts and Abscesses

High Tide Internal Medicine performs outpatient surgical procedures in the comfort of our office, including elective minor surgery. If you are in need of a skin biopsy, removal of skin lesions or growths, or incision and drainage of cysts or abscesses, our healthcare team can provide you with minor surgical services in a familiar, friendly setting.

Most minor surgery procedures don’t require an extensive preparation or process, which means we can perform them for you in our office, allowing you to avoid the time-consuming and more expensive process of visiting a surgical practice or emergency room. Minor surgeries only require a local anesthetic to numb the area of concern, so you are able to leave the office immediately after your procedure without having to worry about waking up from anesthesia.

  • Skin Biopsy: If there is an area of concern on your skin, our physicians can perform a biopsy in order to have the skin sample further examined in a laboratory. Skin biopsies are used to diagnose skin cancer, infections, and other skin conditions. There are different ways of performing a skin biopsy, depending on the area of concern and type of sample needed:
    • Shave biopsy is performed by shaving a small portion of the two top layers of skin to collect a sample. Bleeding from this procedure can be stopped by applying pressure, with no stitches being required.
    • Punch biopsy is performed with a circular tool that collects a deeper layer of skin. Smaller samples from this procedure don’t typically require stitches, but larger samples may require one or two stitches.
    • Excisional biopsy is performed with a small scalpel that is used to remove an abnormal lump or area of skin which can include anything from the top layer of the skin down to the fatty layers. Stitches are used to close the wound after an excisional biopsy.
  • Removal of Skin Lesions or Growths: There are various reasons to choose to remove a skin lesion or growth. This could be because the growth is too big, bothersome, or uncomfortable, for cosmetic purposes, or because the growth is cancerous or precancerous. Many of these lesions or growths can easily be removed in an outpatient setting using one of several methods, which your healthcare provider will select based on the size and location of the area of concern.
  • Incision and Drainage of Cysts and Abscesses: A cyst is a sac or cavity on the skin that is filled with fluid or pus, and it may feel like a hard lump. While cysts can appear in connection with cancer, most of them are not cancerous. An abscess is a pus-filled infection of body tissue that is usually caused by bacteria, but it can also be caused by viruses, parasites, or swallowed objects. The main difference between a cyst and an abscess is that cysts grow slowly and usually are not painful, while abscesses are painful, irritated, often red and swollen, and can cause symptoms in other areas of the body. Both of these growths can be treated using an incision and drainage process that is followed by cleansing and rinsing the wound and then bandaging it. Depending on the size of the cyst or abscess, a drain may be inserted to allow the growth to continue draining as it heals. The discharge may also be collected and sent to a lab to test for bacterial cultures or cancer.

If we determine that a minor surgery is necessary for you, or you decide to undergo a procedure for cosmetic reasons, we can perform it for you in our office. Our medical staff will provide you with attentive care that ensures your comfort and safety and gets you back to your regular routine quickly. Call us at (843) 580-7206 to schedule an appointment for a minor surgery or other medical services.