Mole Removal

Mole removal is the excision of unwanted or worrisome dark pigmented growths. People often decide to remove moles for cosmetic reasons because of their size or location, but should a mole’s size, shape or color change, your mole may be removed and examined for cancerous cells, especially if one or more of these characteristics seem irregular. The doctor performs mole removal for both medical and cosmetic purposes.

Like any surgery, mole removal carries some level of uncertainty and risk. Mole removal can enhance your appearance and relieve uncertainty about a worrisome mole. Should the worst occur and the presence of cancerous cells is confirmed by a biopsy, swift and lifesaving treatment can be implemented. No one wants to hear that their mole is cancerous, but early detection and treatment are crucial to a successful recovery.

For some of the flat moles that occur later in life, a “shave excision” may be appropriate. This technique of mole removal is slightly less invasive than mole excision. Patients can expect a scab to form in the mole’s absence. This scab will flake off after approximately one week, leaving new, reddish skin. This skin will eventually return to a normal pigment within a few weeks and should be protected from the sun and kept clean during this time period.

In most instances, however, these darker pigmented cells are deep in the mole and shaving alone will still leave a dark spot. Full thickness excision is the definitive treatment and is the technique that is most often performed. This method will also give the pathologist the best specimen to evaluate the cells for any pre-cancerous changes. Patients can expect to receive a few stitches with this technique and to schedule a follow-up appointment to remove stitches approximately one week following surgery.