Northern Virginia, Fairfax and Manassas
By: George Bitar, M.D. and Larry Lickstein, M.D.
Board Certified Plastic Surgeons
With the advent of lasers, everybody wants their moles “lasered off”. Laser can play an important role in mole removal, but some moles are better excised surgically. Some moles are suspicious for being either skin cancer or a pre-cancerous mole, so an experienced plastic surgeon or dermatologist should advise whether the mole should be biopsied or removed and sent to a lab to determine whether it is a cancer.
It is important to be reminded of the “A, B, C, D’s” of melanoma. Those are four characteristics that make a mole more likely to be a melanoma, one of the most aggressive of skin cancers. A= Assymetry: if one half of a mole appears different than the other half. B=Border: if the borders are notched and irregular. C= Color: if the mole exhibits more than one color, usually dark brown, black, or purple. D= Diameter: if the mole is more than 6 mm in diameter. If any of the above characteristics are present, then the mole needs to be examined by an experienced professional.
If a mole is a clinically benign looking and is bothersome because it rubs on clothes, jewelry, or is simply an aesthetic nuisance, then its excision is relatively straightforward. The question that always comes up is whether it will leave a scar. Any time there is a cut in the skin, there is a scar, but all efforts are made to leave an inconspicuous scar.
Preparing for the Procedure
An initial consultation is set-up where we discuss your options, and whether you are a good candidate for the procedure. Since this is an in-office procedure, preparation is minimal. Patients are encouraged to stop medications that cause bleeding, such as aspirin, or aspirin products (Motrin or Ibuprofen), a week before this procedure. Mild to moderate pain is alleviated with local anesthesia.
The Mole Excision Procedure
The procedure takes about 30 – 60 minutes depending on the size and location of the mole. If a patient is a good candidate for the procedure, a local anesthetic is applied. The mole is excised and closed. Sometimes the sutures need to be removed and at other times, absorbable sutures are used. Your options will be discussed before the procedure.
Our office will provide you with a detailed post-operative instruction sheet that will be individualized to your needs.
For more information about this procedure call our office and speak to our friendly staff member at 703-206-0506.
Information on this web site is for information only. Do not use the information to diagnose or treat your plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery problems. Please contact your plastic surgeon with all questions and concerns.