Skin/Soft Tissue Excisions

Suburban Surgical Associates/Suburban Metabolic Institute

General Surgeons located in Berwyn, IL & La Grange, IL

A skin lesion refers to any area of your skin that has a growth or appearance that’s different from the skin surrounding the lesion. Some types of lesions must be surgically removed because they’re painful, unsightly, or have the potential to become cancerous. The physicians at Suburban Surgical Associates/Suburban Metabolic Institute have extensive experience performing skin and soft tissue excisions while minimizing scarring. To learn more about removing a skin lesion, call one of our offices in Berwyn, or La Grange, Illinois, or request an appointment online.

Skin/Soft Tissue Excisions Q & A

When should you have a mole removed?

Moles must be removed when they become precancerous or cancerous. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that often develops from existing moles. It’s curable with early treatment, but after it spreads, it’s hard to treat and can be fatal.

Moles should not change their appearance, so whether you notice one that’s changed color, become enlarged, or developed irregular borders, it’s a sign that the mole is growing abnormally and potentially becoming cancerous.

Your surgeon may remove a mole using a curette, by freezing it, or surgically removing it. After removal, it’s examined under a microscope. If cancer has developed, some more of the tissue around the mole may be removed to eliminate all of the cancer cells.

What is a lipoma?

A lipoma is a fatty tumor, or fatty lump, that grows between your skin and the underlying muscle. Lipomas are usually small and move easily when you press them with your finger. However, they can become large and painful.

Lipomas can occur anywhere, but they most often appear in your:

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Abdomen
  • Arms
  • Thighs

Lipomas aren’t typically a danger to your health, but if yours is painful or located in an area that affects your appearance, you may want to have it surgically removed.

Which other types of skin lesions may be surgically excised?

The doctors at Suburban Surgical Associates often remove lesions, which may include:

Sebaceous cyst

This is a round, swollen area that develops when a sebaceous gland becomes blocked. Since your sebaceous glands secrete the natural oil that lubricates your hair and skin, this type of cyst is filled with the same oily substance.

Epidermal cyst

An epidermal cyst appears as a small, round bump beneath your skin, most often on your face, neck, or trunk. The cyst is made up of skin that doesn’t slough off and is usually painless, but it can become infected. In rare cases, an epidermal cyst may become cancerous.


A skin abscess, or boil, is caused by a bacterial infection that creates a pus-filled or fluid-filled lump under your skin. A boil may develop on your back, face, chest, or buttocks. You may also develop one in your underarm or groin.

In some cases, the infection can spread and cause serious problems throughout your body. An abscess is treated by draining the pus or fluid. After applying a numbing medication, a small incision is made that allows boil drainage.

These excisions can often be done in our in-office surgical suite. They’re excised or drained after the injection of local anesthetic, which helps numb the area during the procedure. Some larger lesions require excision in a formal operating room setting at one of our affiliated hospitals.