Moles are a cluster of cells which can appear on the skin anywhere on the body. Most moles are not dangerous (benign). They can come in different shapes, sizes and colors, with some being present at birth or others appearing over the years. Mole removal surgery is chosen by many people each year for the safe removal of moles which are either in prominent positions on the face or provide discomfort from being rubbed on clothing, or caught when shaving.
For those who decide to use mole removal surgery, their doctors will discuss all the options available to them. Most surgeries take around an hour, using local anesthetic and are performed on an out-patient basis.
Excision With Stitches
- The area to be treated is cleansed thoroughly and numbed. In some cases surgeons may wait for the blood flow to the area to slow, helping to calm the bleeding afterwards.
- The mole is cut out with a small border around it. The size of the border depends on the risk factor of the mole.
- Stitches close the wound. They can either be placed inside the wound, beneath the skin if the mole was particularly deep or on the surface of the skin. Stitches inside the wound are dissolved into the body, whereas those on the surface must be removed at a later date.
This form of surgery is ideal for moles which are darker in color and moles which are flat to the skin.
Excision With Cauterization
- The area is cleaned thoroughly and numbed. Again, some surgeons may wait for a while to help with the bleeding.
- The mole is shaved with a scalpel, until it is at skin level or perhaps slightly below.
- The shaven area is burned with an electrical device to stop the bleeding. In some cases a solution is used instead, but the effects are the same.
- An antibiotic cream, gel or solution is applied to the area.
- A bandage is used to cover the area.
This is used on raised moles. Because the surgery only takes the top layers of the mole off and does not penetrate deep into the skin, there is a slight chance that moles can reappear if there are more cells beneath the place of treatment.
Laser mole removal has become increasingly popular of the years. An intense beam of light is used to heat the cells forming the mole until they begin to break down. The cells are re-absorbed into the body.
This treatment is fast, effective with minimal chance of scarring as there is no cutting involved. However, it is not effective on some deeper moles, or raised moles because the light is not strong enough to penetrate deep enough.
This method is very popular. Your doctor will freeze your moles off using liquid nitrogen. Your mole will be frozen and it will fall off itself. Cryotherapy is effective in case your skin mole is not to huge.
Choosing the right surgery for the individual will depend largely on the kind of mole which needs to be treated. The risk factor with any of the surgeries is minimal. The two incision forms of mole removal my lead to infection although it is extremely unlikely, especially if patients follow the aftercare instructions that will be given to them by the surgeons.