I perform quite a few mole removal procedures in my practice each month, and I believe there are benefits to having a plastic surgeon perform the removal in order to create the best possible outcome. Patients often turn to plastic surgeons for mole removal when the mole is in a visible location, like the face. Patients want the mole to be removed, but also want to minimize scarring from the procedure.
Normally, when patients have moles removed at other physicians’ offices, the moles are shaved off quickly and sent to the lab for testing to ensure there are no cellular abnormalities. In my practice, I spend a little under an hour (which varies depending on the patient and mole specifics) performing the removal procedure. Rather than performing a quick shave, much time and attention is given to each patient to make sure the final outcome is as good as possible.
Moles are often times deeper than what is visible on the skin surface. Thus, when a mole is simply shaved flush from the surface of the skin, many times pigmentation is still visible, or will become visible over time. One method of mole removal (which is commonly performed by plastic surgeons) is excision with a suture closure. This ensures the entire mole is removed, so the risk of pigmentation returning is very low. The closure is performed precisely so the resulting “scar” is imperceptible.
I mostly see patients who wish to remove a mole for primarily cosmetic reasons, but sometimes there is reason for concern if the mole is suspicious looking. In this case, we send the specimen away to the lab for testing, and we notify the patient once we have the results. If a mole were to come back cancerous, we have many skin cancer surgeons we work with who we can refer patients to for subsequent treatment.
If you have a mole in a visible location like the face, and are concerned about scarring from removal, consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to learn about removal options.
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