There are two sides to mole removal. You'll either be wanting it because it's:
a) a mole that changed and has now become a health worry or
b) you're unhappy with the appearance of a mole on your body for aesthetic reasons
'Mole' is a collective term for the majority of skin lumps/blemishes that can be anywhere on the face and body, also known as a skin lesion. They can be skin coloured or dark, raised or flat. They are generally harmless, but when a mole has noticeable changes, you should book an appointment with your GP to have it examined.
Regardless as to whether you're having mole removal for health reasons or for aesthetic reasons the procedure should be the same. The common way to remove a mole is by using a dermablade to shave the mole off, any bleeding that occurs is stopped by either using a haemostatic solution (medicine that causes bleeding to stop) or an electrical instrument to burn the area. The mole removal process takes around 20 minutes under local anaesthetic, no stitches are needed and healing takes about 1 to 2 weeks.
For moles that are suspicious or when a cosmetic result is likely to be better, a deep excision is used to move the mole completely, before a laser is used to stop any bleeding. With the mole removal procedure the resulting wound would need stitches which can be either dissolvable or non dissolvable depending on where the mole has been removed.
Mole Removal: What do I have to do to prepare?
You might be required to stop taking medication that alters your blood thickness including; aspirin, birth control and hormone correction before you have your mole removal procedure. It's recommended that you try to avoid smoking to enable a quicker recovery.
Mole Removal: What about after?
Having mole removal surgery is relatively simple and you'll find in most cases you can return to your normal day to day activities in the same day. Care does need to be taken in keeping the area clean, and making sure no unnecessary stress or strain occurs to ensure the wound heals quickly. You'll find that different clinics have variations in their procedures before and after, but most if not all send the mole to a lab for analysis. Your doctor would contact you if there was any indication of unusual features.
Mole Removal: Are there any risks or side effects?
Fortunately the risks are very low as it's a safe and simple procedure. Although with any cosmetic procedure there are potential side effects such as bleeding, infection and scarring, so choosing a good dermatological surgeon will ensure high standards of care.
Mole Removal: What will it cost me?
Histology (mole testing) can cost you from £20 to £80+ depending on where you go and how many moles get tested. Cosmetic mole removal can range from £140 to £300+