With school and extracurricular activities, most parents have enough on their plate when it comes to their children. But a child in need of skin surgery is enough to make parents stop in their tracks.
At Austin Pediatric Surgery, we’ve performed thousands of pediatric surgeries. We always put the needs of your child first, and we can confidently talk with you about everything you need to know about your child’s skin surgery.
The Importance of Skin Surgery
For the most part, moles, bumps, and acne marks are just part of growing up. However, when moles and other skin marks begin to grow or change in size, it’s time to see the pediatrician.
Let’s talk more about the specific skin issues we treat at our Austin facility.
One of the most common skin conditions we see in children is cysts. We treat dermoid cysts, epidermoid cysts, and pilonidal cysts. We offer an outpatient surgery that is minimally-invasive, and effective. Some cysts, such as pilonidal cysts, may require repeated surgeries to cure the disease.
While lipomas look like cysts, they’re actually different. Lipomas are fatty lumps growing between skin and muscle, whereas cysts are sacs that are filled with various tissues, cells, and fluids. These can be easily removed with outpatient surgery.
Are skin tags harmful? Not exactly. But as your child runs, jumps, and plays, the last thing they need to worry about are skin tags. They can get caught on clothing and jewelry, and cause unnecessary irritation. The good news is that we can sometimes remove them in our office, and they are not likely to grow back.
Understanding Risks of Skin Surgery
While the risks associated with most of these procedures are minimal, it’s still important to be aware of them. Skin surgery can result in increased skin sensitivity, as well as redness around the affected areas. Nerve damage of varying degrees is also a potential complication of skin surgery, which is why it’s so important to keep in touch with your pediatric surgeon.
Our experienced medical staff conducts pediatric surgery with a full awareness of these risks. Your surgeon will ensure your child’s procedure is completed in a safe environment with a full surgical team in place.
What to Expect at Your Child’s Skin Surgery
Skin surgeries are designed to take as little time as possible. Not all surgical procedures require general anesthesia. Some procedures are performed with local anesthesia only, which is limited to numbing in the surgical area. Some children describe a local injection of anesthesia as a cold sensation or a slight burning sensation, but both go away quickly.
For skin procedures that involve general anesthesia, an anesthesiologist is in the room to monitor the process from start to finish. While some children have issues with general anesthesia, it is very uncommon. There may be some grogginess after they are brought out of sedation, but this typically fades quickly.
In most cases, your child will go home the same day of the surgery. We pride ourselves on our focus on children’s comfort while handling the intended medical procedures with care.
Navigating the Post-Surgery Recovery Process with Your Child
It is said that real healing begins at home, and this is true after pediatric surgery of any kind. Be sure to comfort your child during this time: going through any surgery process is difficult and stressful!
If your child is mature enough, encourage them to be an active participant in the healing process. For example, older children may want to exercise their independence by cleaning their own surgical sites. Be sure that you teach them to be as gentle as possible and supervise the process so stitches aren’t pulled out.
Cleaning the skin gently is the most important thing to do. Warm water and gentle soap go a long way. Make sure that your child isn’t using heavily fragranced soap or body spray during this critical time. Body sprays may cause skin irritation, so avoid those as much as possible.
When you bring your child to follow-up visits after surgery, let them know that they can share any of their concerns with the doctor. Any sharp pain or changes in color at the surgical site should be communicated to your doctor immediately.
An Important Note About Antibiotics
If antibiotics are required after surgery, it’s important to take the entire course of the medicine and not just stop a few days into it. It’s harder for antibiotics to do their job if your child doesn’t take all of the medication prescribed by the doctor.
Austin Pediatric Surgery Is Here to Help
We know your child’s skin surgery is a difficult and scary topic, so feel free to contact us by phone or email to let us know your concerns. We’d be glad to walk through your child’s upcoming surgery, as well as make suggestions for aftercare and follow-up visits.