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
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
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
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
How long does a mole removal procedure
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
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
There is no hospital stay required and normal activities
may be resumed immediately.
How do I prepare for a mole removal
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
What precautions are necessary during
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.
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
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.
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