Moles may be called Beauty Marks, but they can be anything but beautiful if they turn into precancerous, or cancerous, melanoma. Moles, medically referred to as nevi, are groups of pigmented skin cells that grow in clusters rather than spreading out across the skin. Moles can form anywhere on the body, and the majority are harmless. Most moles are brown or black in color, are circular in shape, and frequently raised above the skin level.
The two preferred surgical procedures used for removing moles are the Shave Excision procedure without the need for stitches, and the Excision procedure that will require a few stitches. Both methods can be performed in the surgeon’s office, and you will go home the same day. Your surgeon will discuss which procedure is best for your type of mole. It is important to tell your surgeon about any prescription or over-the-counter medications that you are taking that may interfere with the healing process.
Mole Removal Procedures
Before the procedure begins, your surgeon will clean the operation site and then numb the area. Once the area is numb, the surgeon will remove the mole.
Shave Excision without Stitches:
Your surgeon will use a scalpel to shave your mole down to the skin level or slightly below the skin surface to ensure the entire mole is removed. He will then cauterize the area, or use a medical solution on the area to stop any bleeding. A bandage will be placed over the wound area. You will need to stay in the office for a short period of time to make sure the bleeding stops.
Excision with Stitches:
Your surgeon will use a scalpel to cut out the mole and a small area surrounding the mole to ensure that the mole is completely removed. If the surgeon believes that your mole may be precancerous, he may need to remove a larger surrounding area. Depending on how far below the skin surface the surgeon must cut, the incision will be closed below the surface with sutures that will not need to be removed. The surface area will be closed with sutures that will be removed by the surgeon during a follow-up appointment. The wound will be covered to keep any bacteria or dirt from touching the area. You will need to stay in the office for a short period of time to make sure the bleeding stops.
After Mole Removal Care
Before you leave the surgeon’s office, you will be instructed on how to care for your wound while it is healing. Your surgeon will tell you what over-the-counter medication to take if you are experiencing pain. If a follow-up office visit is required to remove any stitches, an appointment will be scheduled before you leave the office. Depending on the lab results of the mole tissues, you may need to schedule an additional office visit to examine the wound area and for an examination of any other body moles.