Removing moles can involve a slightly different surgical procedure than taking care of other skin issues. That’s because there has to be direct cutting (or in some cases, burning) of the mole in order to completely eliminate it off the skin. It’s one of only a few skin issues that doesn’t always work well with laser. This isn’t to say that laser surgery can’t be tried, even though thicker moles aren’t easily removed with this method.
So what can you expect if you have one or more moles that need to be removed for cosmetic reasons or as avoidance in developing melanoma? Despite usually requiring more direct excisions, you don’t have to worry too much about pain and can usually go home right after the procedure is done.
During your consultation, your surgeon will tell you about the potential risks associated with removing moles. The most common risk you’ll be alerted to is the strong possibility of scars over the area where the mole or moles are removed. While these can vary in how they appear, it’s sometimes worth it for those who want to rid themselves of an unsightly mole. In most cases, these scars are only visible if someone is inspecting your skin closely.
Another risk is nerve damage in the area where the moles are removed. But this isn’t overly common and shouldn’t deter you from surgery when you need to remove a mole for health reasons.
What to Expect During the Procedure
The area where your mole is removed will obviously have an anesthetic so you won’t feel any pain when the mole is excised. According to eMedicine Health, some doctors wait about 15 minutes so the blood flow in the area is minimal when an excision is made.
Your surgeon will then remove your mole with a scalpel. He or she might shave it off at skin level or go slightly deeper depending on the mole’s thickness. For deeper cuts, you might need stitches that have to stay in for about a week. Nevertheless, this isn’t always the case, and sometimes a mere bandage over the wound will suffice. Some stitches for a deeper cut are available in a form that’s absorbed into the body.
Treating the Wound at Home
You’ll be able to go home right after the procedure is done. Your only risk at this point is getting an infection in the wound if you don’t keep it cleaned and replace the bandage every day. Cleaning the wound should be done at least once in the morning, and wise to do again at night before going to bed. Your surgeon will also give you an antibiotic salve to go under the bandage.
Be sure to get plenty of rest and have a good diet to heal your wound faster. If you do, it should be healed within seven days. Plus, your stitches will typically be taken out then so you can avoid any itching they may cause.
Your mole will likely be inspected by a dermatologist to determine if it’s cancerous or pre-cancerous. That’s the part of mole removal that might feel scary, even though you should feel safe in knowing you’re taking care of any potential future skin cancer concerns as well as helping your appearance.
Visit us here at BC Laser and Skincare Clinic if you need any mole removal done. And contact us so we can set up a consultation to show you more about the procedure, plus the excellent results we’ve given to other patients.