These discoloured areas are pigmented lesions though frequently referred to as age spots, sun spots or liver spots.
Pigmented lesions are common and usually nothing to worry about. However, if they are suspect, or you are worried about them, it’s best to seek medical advice as quickly as possible. A pigmented lesion, just like a mole, may be cancerous depending on its shape and size, colour and age, and whether it has changed or started to bleed. If you are concerned about discoloured patches on your skin, it’s best to seek medical advice for treatment or reassurance.
Our doctors have many years of experience in treating patients with pigmented lesions, so can carry out a biopsy to test the skin. If the lesion is cancerous it will need to be removed, of course. However, even if it isn’t cancerous, you may choose to have it removed for cosmetic reasons. Pigmented lesion removal treatment is relatively straight-forward.
During this visit, your pigmented lesion will be examined by one of our consultant plastic surgeons who will advise whether it is suspicious and discuss next steps with you. If it is suspicious, the lesion can be removed and a sample sent for testing. If it is not suspicious, you can choose to continue to live with the lesion or have it removed. All this can be discussed in detail at your initial consultation, our aim is to ensure you have the information you need to make an informed decision about your treatment.
Treatment will take place at the Spire Manchester Hospital, our state-of-the-art hospital close to Manchester city centre.
You will be given a local anaesthetic to numb the treatment area, and then your lesion will then be surgically removed with a scalpel. This involves removing the pigmented lesion and a small margin of ‘normal’ coloured skin. Our surgeons will follow the outline of the lesion as closely as possible, taking away only the skin that has to be removed.
The wound will sometimes be left to heal without stitches, so expect a light dressing to be applied immediately after treatment. You will be given instructions for changing the dressing and keeping the area clean and offered a follow-up appointment, usually 7 – 10 days after treatment.
We appreciate that you may be anxious about a suspicious pigmented lesion which is why our service is designed to be fast and efficient. You will usually have the pigmented lesion removal treatment within a few days of your initial consultation and the results of the biopsy back within a fortnight.
Patients are usually able to go home within an hour of treatment. It’s a good idea to take it easy for a couple of days so that you avoid stretching or moving the affected area too much. You will be prescribed with painkillers to ease any discomfort you may feel after your treatment.