Unless someone feels strongly that the brownish raised bump on their skin is, in fact, a “beauty mark,” moles are not generally among people’s favorite physical features. People get moles removed for a range of different reasons. An individual may not like where the mole is located on their body, or finds that it frequently gets irritated under their clothing. Maybe they’re concerned that it could be abnormal, or a sign of an emerging health condition. Any one of these reasons is enough to justify seeking out a dermatologist and getting your mole removed. Fortunately, the process of mole removal is short, simple, and straightforward.
Mole removal is always an outpatient procedure. This means that you’ll check into the clinic or doctor’s office, have the procedure performed, and then head home shortly after that. There’s no need to stay at the medical facility any longer than that.
Cleaning and Anesthetic
After you’ve been checked in, you’ll be led to a surgical room. There the dermatologist, often accompanied by one or several other medical professionals, will begin the procedure by cleaning the mole and the skin surrounding it. Once that’s complete, the physician will inject the area with a local anesthetic. Popular forms of local anesthesia include lidocaine and bupivacaine. While this is the only somewhat uncomfortable part of the procedure, it’s also the reason you won’t feel any pain when the mole is physically removed. A minute or so after the injection, the mole and surrounding skin should feel almost completely numb.
There are several different approaches dermatologists can take when removing a mole. Your doctor may use a scalpel to slice off the mole and some of the skin around it. Alternatively, they may perform what’s called a “shave biopsy,” in which they use a razor to shave the mole off the skin. Depending on the size of the mole and how deep your doctor needs to cut to completely remove it, stitches may be required after the procedure. The whole process takes no longer than an hour, with the removal of smaller moles barely clocking in at 20 minutes.
After the procedure is completed, the mole is sent out to a laboratory to be analyzed. There lab technicians examine it under a microscope to determine whether it is benign—that is, safe and harmless—or abnormal and potentially cancerous. The biopsy process typically takes one to two weeks, and your doctor’s office will call you as soon as they’ve received the results.
A mole removal is a quick and easy procedure that most dermatology clinics and practices have extensive experience performing. If you identify a mole that you want removed, for any reason, it’s worth making an appointment with our local office. We will accommodate your needs with minimal hassle.