Skin and Soft Tissue Conditions

Skin and soft tissue diseases are essentially a catch all phrase encompassing a large portion of the human body. These can include anything from a simple rash to an aggressive cancer. By and far the most common conditions we treat are skin cancers, lipomas and sebaceous cysts.

A doctor checking a mole to ensure it's benign.

What are Skin and Soft Tissue Diseases?

The skin is the largest organ in the body and protects us from the elements and microbes that attempt to invade our bodies. There are three layers to the skin: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous fat, each having a variety of medical conditions that can arise. 

Most skin disorders do not require a surgeon to treat, but sometimes skin conditions do require surgery.

The common skin ailments we see are skin cancers including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Most of the benign processes needing surgery are related to various infections including sebaceous cysts, abscesses and hidradenitis.

The soft tissues generally refer to the subcutaneous (below the skin) fat and the muscles. Again there are many benign processes that cause a mass or swelling in the body. The vast majority of these are benign fatty tumors called lipomas, but various types of cancer can arise in the soft tissues.

Conditions Treated

Bumps on the skin.

Common types of skin and soft tissue surgery include:

While many people go to a dermatologist for skin-related issues, a general surgeon would perform most skin and soft tissue surgeries. If the procedure is more complex, such as a flap or reconstruction, you may need a plastic surgeon.

Proliance Surgical Specialists of Edmonds treats the following:

  • Lipomas: a fatty tumor located just below the skin and is usually harmless, and slow-growing
  • Sebaceous cysts: a typically harmless and slow-growing bump under the skin. Sometimes referred to as epidermal inclusion cysts. Often removed to prevent infection or abscess
  • Skin Cancer: such as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

What to Expect from Skin and Soft Tissue Surgery

The majority of skin and soft tissue surgeries are done in the office under local anesthetic. The remainder are done as outpatient surgery at our surgery center. Your health history, preferences, and the specific skin and soft tissue disease will largely determine what is safest.

Skin and soft tissue surgery is aimed at removing the problem permanently. Sometimes this is an urgent or emergent situation such as with an abscess. Most of the time these surgeries are completely elective, which means we have planned the surgery and scheduled it out from the initial visit. Elective doesn’t mean cosmetic so most of these procedures are covered by insurance. However, some skin and soft tissue surgeries can be cosmetic, such as removing scar tissue or a lump for no medical reason.

For recovery, most patients can return to work the same day or the next day. If you have surgery at the surgery center and require anesthesia you will need a driver on the day of surgery but should return to normal activity the next day. For most surgical wounds absorbable sutures will be used. You will be asked to keep the wounds dry for 48 hours and not immerse in water for 2 weeks. You can shower after 48 hours but no baths, hot tubs, or swimming for 2 weeks. There will typically be no activity restrictions but ask your surgeon if there are any restrictions.

Schedule an Appointment

Proliance Surgical Specialists of Edmonds takes pride in the level of comfort and care we provide the community. If you would like to make an appointment and discuss your health, we encourage you to reach out.