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Skin tag removal under General anestheticc

(20 Posts)
Fosmum Wed 02-Feb-11 16:04:45

Hi everyone

Has anyone had experience of deciding whether or not to have their babies skin tag removed surgically?

My four month old daughter has a small tag in front of her ear, they call it a perpendicular skin tag. I had an appointment with a surgeon a couple of days ago and I was a bit freaked out to find that removal involves an incision and General Anesthetic. I had really only pictured a local anesthetic or a piece of string up to that point!

I am really worried about putting her at risk via the anesthetic for what is essentially an elective procedure, however I don't want to leave her with something that may result in her being teased at school. I am not aware of there being any medical risks associated with leaving the skin tag on.

I would really appreciate any feedback about skin tags or just general anesthetic in such a young baby. She will be roughly seven months by the time she gets to the top of the waiting list.


MrsWhatToDo Wed 02-Feb-11 17:22:11

Hi Fosmum

I don't have any personal experience of your problem but i have to say i am shocked that a doctor would consider giving a baby a general anaesthetic for an elective proceedure. I understand that you would want your child to have the problem "Fixed" before it becomes a problem. I would feel the same. is it a possibility toask the surgeon if there is another way?

MrsWhatToDo Wed 02-Feb-11 17:23:16

I have had a child need minor surgery and have a general but he was 6 at the youngest..

sparkle101 Wed 02-Feb-11 17:33:24


I haven't any advice but my hospital are planning to do the same on my DD's skin tag on her foot again with a general. The way it came across is they do it all the time so that put me at ease a bit. Not sure how I'll feel when it happens though.

Nippolopolis Wed 02-Feb-11 18:51:03

My 9mo DD has one of these too.

She's due her op in the Autumn. She had her 1st appointment with the plastic surgeon when she was 3mo but they told us there was no way they would do it before she was at least 1 years old. I was under the impression this was common practice.

Nippolopolis Wed 02-Feb-11 18:52:10

practise sorry.

Fosmum Wed 02-Feb-11 19:32:36

Thanks for your replies.

In fairness elective is my words- there may be some other medical reason other than cosmetic for removal but I don't know of any. The surgeon advised that if it is not removed via the incision it would grow back and that you couldn't attempt that without the anesthetic, but to be honest if I had known it required the general I would have held off on asking for the referral.

It came across to me as a common practice as well. It was only after wards of course that I thought of all my questions. What age is your DD Sparkle?

I think this shows that I need to get back in touch with them to discuss it further if only to put my mind at rest, but I'm thinking I might try to delay it for another while.

Fosmum Wed 02-Feb-11 19:35:40

I spelt practise wrong too!

jambomum Thu 03-Feb-11 12:39:17

Isn't the reason for a general, as opposed to a local, because it would be difficult/dangerous to do it if the child could move about?
It's difficult enough keeping them still for their innoculations.
My niece has just had surgery for a hernia at 6 weeks old and had a general. She was fine and home within hours.
I think the surgeon is sensible to not take risks that the child could move at an important moment.

Fosmum Thu 03-Feb-11 15:40:46

Yes that's what the surgeon says and I agree that you couldn't do it without a General anesthetic- before the appointment I was not aware that the tag has a root and hadn't really thought through what the procedure would involve - loads of people had told me that they used to tie strings round them to make them drop off.

I am more than happy with the surgeon etc my problem is the very small risk with a general anesthetic and whether in DD's case it is the right decision to go ahead now. I.E if the surgery isn't urgent is it better to wait until she is older?

That's good to know about your niece, thanks.

OutIntoTheBlue Fri 04-Feb-11 10:06:26

Hi Fosmum

I've just been through this with my DD who is 2.11. She was born with 2 'skin tags' in front of her ear - one was small but the other grew with her and was quite fleshy. At birth the midwife told me we could have it removed once she was 2. The paeds doc on the ward, and then my community midwife, health visitor and GP at the 6 week check all said the same, and were very matter of fact about it: come back when she's 2 and we'll refer you, its a small op and very common.

Fast forward til she is 2, we moved house and new GP spotted the tags and asked did we want referring to have them removed. Yes please says me. She then described the op and the general - I had exactly the same reaction as you. had I known it would be a general, I would have been hesitant but she said to do it under local needs the child to be completely compliant and fully understanding of the procedure ie at least 11. My reason for wanting it removed was to avoid DD being teased at school, and I'm quite sure that this would happen at an early age if it was going to. It also was prominent and served no function.

We went ahead with the op, as I took reassurance from all the health professionals' matter of fact approach to it. It was done as a day case, under general when she was 2.8, it took about 20 minutes and she handled it all brilliantly. 10 mins after coming round, she was sitting up in bed asking for toast and marmite, and we were back home within 4 hours of arriving at the hospital. I have no regrets at all, and am very glad we decided to have it done now, when she will have no memory of it at all. She has two tiny scars which are still red, but will fade to white over time. DD has never even noticed her ear since, and thinks we went for a day out to the hospital!

I won't lie, seeing her be anaesthetised was not pleasant. I cried. But the anaesthetist was fantastic and explained everything that would happen, and was happy to spend quite a time talking about my worries about the risks with me. I was confident in our decision, and had we waited until she was older to have this done, I am sure DD would have experienced worry and anxiety so we have avoided that.

Hope thats helped. Our new GP has an interest in paeds, I also found it helpful to talk to her about risks etc. good luck

Fosmum Fri 04-Feb-11 12:00:26

Thanks outintotheblue that was very helpful thankyou- its interesting that you were advised to wait untl she is two - my dd will only be around 7 months. Im glad it all went well for you and DD I'm sure its a relief to have it over.

OutIntoTheBlue Fri 04-Feb-11 13:16:55

Yes, everyone said 'when she is 2...' - I think because of the anaesthetic. And in 2 different parts of the country so that can't be just one PCT's policy. I'm glad we had it done, but I'm glad we waited - because she can talk I knew she wasn't upset or in pain or anything.

sparkle101 Sat 05-Feb-11 20:03:48

fosmum my DD is 5.5mths, we have an appt in april where they say they will then book in the removal. With the foot they say they need to take it off as when it starts rubbing, when they start walking. The closer it gets to april the less happy I feel about it, but needs must I suppose.

I think you definately need to have another chat with them and try and get some answers and put your mind at rest.

maltesers Sat 05-Feb-11 20:08:29

If the consultant recommends it to be done then go for it. Anaesthetics are amazing and really ok nowadays. All my kids have had one and been so fine. Baby will thanks you in years to come when she doesnt have the skin tag as an older child/teenager. Plus, babies and young children heal so quickly .
I wish you luck and dont worry she will be fine.

maltesers Sat 05-Feb-11 20:10:01

P.S.. . . .A baby would not tolerate a local anaesthetic an keep still long enough, so the best way is to put them to sleep for a few minutes.

VeggieReggie Sat 05-Feb-11 20:10:34

A GA for a small child really is not distressing (for them! Different for the watching parents!), and is completely safe. It will be a very short operation, and anaesthetics these days are incredibly sophisticated. Both y children had GAs under the age of one, and it was fine. If it needs doing, don't hesitate.

asuwere Sat 05-Feb-11 20:57:13

My DD had this done last year. She was 8 months old at the time. I was really worried about it and felt very guilty letting her have a GA for purely cosmetic reasons. Everyone else seemed to think it would be the best for her to have it done while she's young.

I went with her and held her while she was put under - she was fine! I then went to wait in the parents room for about 20mins (longest 20mins ever!) then was called as she was back. She was fine - a bit unsettled for about 30-40mins but she then had something to eat, had a play and we were discharged about an hour or so later.

She had a few disolvable stitches and a couple of steri-strips. We removed these about a week later. She didn't need any follow up.

It's now been 4 months an you can only see a faint scar if you really search for it.

I really did struggle with the decision but it was worth it I think. Good luck with it.

Fosmum Sat 05-Feb-11 21:24:32

Thanks everyone,I appreciate it.

I am going to ring them next week. I am definitley going to have it done but as it doesn't necessarily need to be done straight away, I might see about waiting until she is 1 or more - well before school. However if they feel I should go ahead I will take it on board.

Sparkle101- I can see the point about your DDs foot and as the other girls say it will be absolutely fine. I would go ahead if it needed to be done straight away and it was going to cause problems.Good luck and thanks for your help.

InBelfast Fri 17-Jun-11 12:21:01

My little girl (1 year 7 months) had her ear tag removed under general anaesthetic on Wednesday. It went so smoothly, 15 min she was under for, two tiny stitches and she was up running around at home, happy as a lark just 4 hrs later. Gave her painkillers that night but she hasn't needed any since. I’m not sure she has even noticed it gone, more interested in her new Peppa Pig shoessmile
Big shout out to the amazing staff at the RVH for Sick Children, Belfast.
Just wanted to add a comment in case anyone has concerns about having this done.

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