Mole removal is a procedure in which an undesired mole is excised and removed.
This procedure may be performed with a medical scalpel or a laser. Mole removal
can be used on any part of the body and offers people with unwanted moles or
growths an opportunity to attain their desired appearance.
on their location, moles may go unnoticed, or they may become
a nuisance. Moles have the potential to lead to dangerous health
problems. Many skin cancers, including melanoma, begin in the
shape of a mole. If you have a mole that seems atypical in any
way, one that changes in size and appearance, bleeds, is asymmetrical,
is not uniform in color, has ragged edges, or in any other way
seems unusual, it is very important to have it examined by a
doctor with experience in treating moles, related skin conditions,
and skin cancer. If a cancerous mole is diagnosed early, it can
often be completely removed.
may also want to have normal moles removed, especially those
that rub against clothing or get in the way of shaving. Prominent
moles may also be removed to improve appearance. The removal
of normal moles can also lead to smoother, clearer skin, as well
as reducing any skin irritation.
is a mole removal procedure performed?
moles can be cancerous, doctors will usually examine them carefully
by performing a biopsy or microscope analysis. A small portion
of the mole will be removed for this purpose. It may be removed
with an instrument that quickly punches out a small section of
the mole, or it may also be cut with a scalpel or scissors. This
tissue is then sent to a pathology lab to be examined. If lab
examination shows the mole to be normal, the surgeon can remove
it either by shaving or cutting it.
shaving method works by removing the protruding surface of the
mole so that it is flush with the surrounding skin. This technique
is common for patients who have moles that become irritated by
clothing or movement. However, it can leave some of the mole
cells beneath the skin, and the mole may grow back again over
the next several years.
cutting method of mole removal may be used for both normal and
atypical moles. This procedure is often called an elliptical
excision because the mole and underlying tissue is removed in
an elliptical or oval shape using a small medical scalpel. Sutures
(stitches) are then used to close the incision if one is made.
laser treatment has been tried for mole removal, it is not usually
the method of choice for most deep moles because the laser light
does not penetrate deeply enough.
long does a mole removal procedure take?
removal typically takes less than an hour to perform.
type of anesthesia is used?
removal is usually performed using local anesthesia along with
a light sedative to make you feel drowsy and relaxed.
is the procedure performed?
removal is usually performed on an outpatient basis, in the surgeon's
office-based surgical suite, an outpatient surgery center or
can I return home and resume normal activities?
is no hospital stay required and normal activities may be resumed
do I prepare for a mole removal procedure?
your initial consultation, your surgeon will discuss the changes
that you would like to make to your appearance. Since the appearance
of your skin is a matter of personal perception and preference,
you will need to discuss your concerns in detail so your surgeon
can determine the appropriate alternatives.
to your procedure, the surgeon will perform a complete health
history and physical. Knowledge of your allergies, medications
and previous surgeries should be brought to your surgeon's attention
at this time.
instructions to assist you in preparing for this procedure will
be given to you after the health history and physical is complete.
Depending on your individual health status, the instructions
may include guidelines regarding your diet, alcohol intake, smoking
and which medications to take or avoid. Your experience will
be much smoother if you remain compliant with your surgeon's
precautions are necessary during recovery?
wound should be cleaned once or twice daily with either water
or diluted hydrogen peroxide. Clean the wound once or twice daily
with either water or diluted hydrogen peroxide. After the wound
has been cleansed, you should apply and antibiotic ointment and
bandage. This should be repeated until the wound is completely
healed. Please ask your surgeon for after care instructions specific
to your case, as these will assist you during your recovery period.
are the possible complications after a mole removal procedure?
risks associated with mole removal are minor. If the shaving
method is used, there is a risk that the mole will grow back
within several years following the removal. Elliptical excision
can sometimes produce scarring, especially in younger children.
However, if scarring does occur, it can be eliminated by cosmetic
surgery or skin resurfacing techniques. No procedure is without
risks; however, the majority of complications known to be associated
with a mole removal are minor when the procedure is performed
by an experienced board certified plastic surgeon. It is always
important to be informed about the possible complications before
any procedure. Be sure to discuss any concerns you may have with
results can I expect after a mole removal procedure?
amount of discomfort afterward varies depending on the method
used. After a mole is removed, a scab will develop and then heal
within one to two weeks. Any redness around the area should disappear
within two to four weeks. Most scars slowly fade with time. Most
people notice smoother, clearer skin, as well as reduction in