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Procedures

Mole Excision

Mole Excision

When you notice a new spot or growth on your skin, it’s natural to wonder about it. Moles are common skin lesions that nearly everyone has. They can be present from birth or can appear as you grow. Most moles are harmless and don’t require medical treatment. However, in some cases, you may need or choose to have a mole removed. This is where mole excision comes into play. Understanding when and why mole excision might be necessary and what the procedure involves, can help alleviate any apprehensions you might have about the surgery.

Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna will provide you with detailed insights into everything from the reasons for mole excision to the recovery process, helping you to understand the full scope of what to expect.

 

At a glance

Procedure Time
Depends on the type of procedure perfomed
Procedure Anaesthesia
Local anaesthesia
Procedure Downtime
A few days to a few weeks.
Procedure Frequency
One time.

Table of Contents

What is Mole Excision?

Mole excision, or mole removal, is a medical procedure that involves surgically removing a mole from the skin. The purpose of this procedure can be diagnostic, therapeutic, or cosmetic.


Who Needs Mole Excision?

Mole excision is not a procedure that everyone with a mole will require. In fact, most moles are completely benign and will never cause any problems. However, there are specific circumstances where you might consider or be advised to have a mole removed. These situations can generally be grouped into three categories: medical necessity, physical discomfort and personal preference.

Medical Necessity

The primary medical reason for mole excision is the potential for skin cancer. If a mole exhibits signs of malignant changes, such as an increase in size, irregular edges, changes in colour, or an asymmetrical shape, Anca will likely recommend a biopsy or complete removal to ensure it isn’t cancerous. Early removal and examination of potentially cancerous moles are key to preventing the spread of skin cancer.

Physical Discomfort

Some moles can become a nuisance if they frequently catch on clothing or jewellery, causing irritation or even pain. Moles located in areas prone to friction, such as under your arms or around your neck, can also lead to discomfort and skin irritation. In such cases, removing the mole can provide significant relief and prevent further skin problems.

Personal Preference

Many people choose mole excision for cosmetic reasons. If you feel that a mole is visually unattractive or if it’s in a prominent location such as your face or neck, you might opt for excision to improve your appearance. This is a personal decision and involves weighing up how much the mole bothers you against the minor risks associated with surgical removal.

Regardless of your reason for considering mole excision, it is important to consult with Anca. She can assess the mole and discuss potential risks and benefits to help you make an informed decision based on your health needs and aesthetic desires.


Benefits of the Mole Excision Procedure

Mole excision can offer several advantages, depending on why you are considering the procedure. It’s important to have clear goals and realistic expectations to truly appreciate the benefits:

Health Monitoring and Cancer Prevention

One of the most significant benefits of mole excision is the ability to test the mole for cancerous cells. If you have a mole that has changed in appearance, the excision allows for detailed pathological examination. Early detection and removal of pre-cancerous or cancerous moles can be lifesaving.

Improved Physical Comfort

If a mole is located in an area where it is constantly irritated by clothing or jewellery, removal can end this ongoing discomfort. Once the mole is removed and the area has healed, you will no longer have to worry about the pain or irritation that such moles can cause.

Enhanced Appearance

For many people, the cosmetic improvement following mole excision is highly beneficial. Removing a mole that you feel is unattractive can significantly boost your happiness with your appearance. This is particularly true for moles on the face or other highly visible areas, where even a small mole can make a big difference to how you see yourself and how you believe others perceive you.

Types of Mole Excision Procedures

Shave Excision

Shave excision is a simple procedure used primarily for moles that protrude above the skin surface. During this procedure, Anca will use a small blade to shave the mole down to the level of the surrounding skin. This method is quick and usually doesn’t require stitches, which means the recovery time is relatively short. However, since the mole is not removed deeply, there’s a higher chance it could recur.

Punch Biopsy

A punch biopsy is not only a diagnostic tool but also a way to remove small moles completely. Using a circular tool, Anca punches out a cylindrical piece of skin that includes the entire mole. This method is effective for smaller moles and usually requires a stitch or two to close the small hole left by the punch.

Excisional Surgery

Excisional surgery is the most comprehensive method for mole removal. It involves using a scalpel to cut out the mole and a margin of healthy skin around it. This technique is often used for larger moles or those that are suspected of being malignant. The wound is then closed with stitches, which might be located either on the surface of the skin or underneath it, depending on the depth of the cut.

How is the Mole Excision Procedure Performed?

The mole excision procedure is generally straightforward and performed as an outpatient service, meaning you won’t have to stay in the hospital overnight. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Preparation: You’ll first discuss your medical history and any allergies to medications with Anca. The area around the mole will be cleaned to prevent infection, and you’ll be given a local anaesthetic to numb the area. This helps ensure that you won’t feel any pain during the procedure.
  • The Excision: Depending on the method being used (shave, punch, or excisional), Anca will either shave off, punch out, or surgically remove the mole, along with any necessary margin of tissue. The goal is to remove the entire mole for examination and/or to ensure it does not cause further issues.
  • Closing the Wound: If stitches are required, Anca will use them to close the wound. For shave excisions, stitches might not be necessary. A bandage will be applied over the site to protect it from infection and to help absorb any minor bleeding.
  • Aftercare Instructions: You will receive instructions on how to care for the wound at home, which might include keeping it clean and dry, applying antibiotic ointment, and returning to have stitches removed if necessary.

Recovery after Mole Excision Procedure

Recovery from mole excision depends significantly on the type of procedure you’ve undergone. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Shave Excision and Punch Biopsy: These methods usually heal within a few weeks. You might need to apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection and to aid in healing. It’s usually advised to keep the wound covered until it heals fully.
  • Surgical Excision: This method may take longer to heal, depending on the size of the wound. You’ll need to manage your stitches, keep the area clean, and possibly take prescribed pain relief medication. Avoid strenuous activities that could stress the wound site during your recovery.

In all cases, follow-up appointments are important to ensure proper healing and to discuss any findings from the mole’s pathological examination.

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How Much Does Mole Excision Cost?

The financial aspect of mole excision can vary greatly based on several factors including the method used, the complexity of the procedure, and the setting in which it is performed. Here’s what you need to consider when evaluating the cost of this procedure:

  • Type of Procedure: Different methods of mole removal come with different costs. Shave excisions are generally less expensive than punch biopsies and surgical excisions because they are simpler and often do not require stitches.
  • Location and Setting: Having the procedure done in a hospital as opposed to a private plastic surgery clinic can affect the cost due to the differing overheads and service fees associated with each type of facility.
  • Geographic Location: Costs can vary significantly from one region to another depending on local market conditions and the cost of living.

NHS vs Private Costs

In the UK, mole excision might be covered by the NHS if it is deemed medically necessary, that is, if the mole is suspected of being cancerous or if it causes significant discomfort. For cosmetic reasons, however, you would likely need to pay for the procedure privately.

For private treatment, costs can range significantly. A typical range might be from £200 to £500 per mole, depending on the factors mentioned above. It’s always a good idea to get a detailed quote beforehand and to check if your health insurance might cover some or all of the costs.


Further Reading

faq-photo

Procedure

Frequently asked questions

Like any surgical procedure, mole excision comes with certain risks, though they are generally minor. These risks include infection, bleeding at the site of the excision, scarring, and in rare cases, an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic used during the procedure. There is also a small chance that the mole might regrow if the excision does not completely remove all the mole cells. Make sure to ask about the potential risks and complications that can occur after your mole excision procedure during your consultation with the plastic surgeon.

Mole excision itself does not lead to a misdiagnosis. In fact, it is a step towards ensuring an accurate diagnosis. The excised mole is usually sent to a lab for histological analysis, where pathologists examine the tissue under a microscope to check for signs of cancer. This thorough examination helps in making an accurate diagnosis.

Before your mole excision, it’s important to discuss your full medical history and any medications you’re taking with Anca. Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding. It’s also advisable not to drink alcohol the night before and to arrive with a clean skin area free of any creams or makeup.

The possibility of scarring depends on the mole’s size, the technique used for removal, and your skin type. Generally, shave excisions leave minimal scarring, while surgical excisions might leave a small line or stitch marks, which fade over time. Anca may recommend post-procedure treatments like silicone gel sheets to minimise scarring.

It is generally recommended to avoid strenuous physical activities that could stretch or stress the excision site for about 1-2 weeks following the procedure. This helps ensure proper healing and prevents the wound from reopening. Light activities, such as walking, are usually fine and can help with overall circulation and healing. Always follow the specific guidelines provided by Anca and her team based on your individual circumstances.

About Anca Breahna – Consultant Plastic Surgeon

top UK cosmetic surgeon anca breahnaMs Anca Breahna, PhD, MSc, FEBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast) is a highly regarded Consultant Plastic Surgeon specialising in the field of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. Anca performs a range of breast, body and face surgery and minor skin procedures.

As one of the very few female Plastic Surgeons in her region, she is able to offer that unique female perspective, with empathy, attention to detail and personalised care.

Anca Breahna’s surgical training has been largely undertaken within the United Kingdom. She began a rigorous training programme in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 1999, after achieving her medical degree from the University of Bucharest. Miss Breahna attained her PhD degree at the same university in 2007 for her medical research. She then relocated to the UK to further extend her qualifications and training.

Anca’s NHS practice is now focused on Breast Reconstructive Surgery, Skin Cancer Surgery, Hand Surgery and soft tissue reconstruction. Over the last 15 years, through her pursuit of further training and education, Anca has developed a special interest and expert practical experience in a range of Aesthetic Breast and Body Surgery.

It is Anca’s true dedication and commitment to her field, that sets her aside from her peers. Her extensive surgical training means that you are in safe hands. She is renowned for providing exceptional care, support and helping achieve realistic goals for her patients.

Anca will treat you in a straightforward manner, with respect, consideration and empathy to ensure you are comfortable with your choice.

 

 

Your Next Steps

Do your Research

  • Please read our website pages and blogs to learn more about your intended procedure.
  • All Surgery has risks and potential complications. Please read more about the risks of your surgery.

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • A Medical Referral from your Doctor before your consultation is not compulsory however  it is recommended.
  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Anca – Car parking is available on-site at all hospitals.
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options.
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes.
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly read all the documents provided.

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

Please call to find out more about availability, pricing and medical payment plans or to request more information about the procedure, contact us.

How to Book your Consultation with Anca Breahna – Plastic Surgeon

You can book your consultation with Anca by paying the £150 cosmetic consultation fee when you make your appointment. This fee covers further consultations about the same concern.

Contact Anca’s Team

Call Claire on 0800 080 6026 or Joedy on 03332 244111 to arrange your consultation or email us for more information.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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