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Mole Removal

Mole Removal

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.

Depending 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.

You 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.

How is a mole removal procedure performed?

Because 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.

The 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.

The 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.

Although 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.

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How long does a mole removal procedure take?

Mole removal typically takes less than an hour to perform.

What type of anesthesia is used?

Mole removal is usually performed using local anesthesia along with a light sedative to make you feel drowsy and relaxed.

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Where is the procedure performed?

Mole removal is usually performed on an outpatient basis, in the surgeon's office-based surgical suite, an outpatient surgery center or hospital.

When can I return home and resume normal activities?

There is no hospital stay required and normal activities may be resumed immediately.

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How do I prepare for a mole removal procedure?

During 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.

Prior 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.

Specific 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 instructions.

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What precautions are necessary during recovery?

The 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.

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What are the possible complications after a mole removal procedure?

The 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 your surgeon.

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What results can I expect after a mole removal procedure?

The 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 skin irritation.

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Choosing the right surgeon

To obtain further information regarding ear surgery, we advise you to consult with a qualified and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. Regardless of the type of procedure you are considering, it is crucial to choose the right surgeon for your individual goals. To receive a complimentary consultation with a specialist in your area, simply fill out our Online Referral Form or call Toll Free 800.434.6760.


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