Mole Removal Surgery

Mole Removal Surgery

If you’ve decided to take the plunge and get your mole removed, it’s a good idea to learn about the mole removal procedure first.  This way, you can equip yourself with knowledge, and be fully prepared for the different types of procedures that may be presented to you by your doctor.

On your first appointment

Before you undergo a mole removal procedure, you should make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the possibility that the mole is cancerous.  Most moles are not, and are simply a build-up of dark pigmented skin cells.  However, your doctor might determine that it is best to get a biopsy done on your mole, just to be safe, especially if it is overly large or irregularly shaped.

Before your mole removal procedure

Before beginning your mole removal procedure, your doctor will sanitize the area thoroughly with alcohol.  He or she will then apply local anesthetic, which will numb the area but not put you to sleep.  Depending on the size and placement of the mole, the area may be draped with a curtain to prevent you from seeing the procedure.

During your mole removal procedure

This is a minor surgery, and you can expect to feel only a little discomfort and no pain while your doctor is performing it.  There are several methods that your surgeon may choose from when removing your mole, and these depend on a number of factors including the size, shape, and location of your mole.

If your surgeon uses excision, the mole will be cut away from the surrounding area using a scalpel, and if the hole is deep enough, sutures will be used to close the wound.  There is also a “punch out” method, which involves a small machine that quickly and painlessly punches out a small hole around the mole, lifting it from your skin.

For moles that have more superficial roots, excision with cauterization might be used.  This type of procedure uses a tool to shave off the mole from the surface of your skin, and then burn, or cauterize, the wound so that it does not remain open.  Because of the cauterization, this method does not require stitches.

Healing period

Whichever procedure is used, you can usually resume normal activities immediately after your surgery.  However, the area must be kept clean, and you will likely be required to wear a bandage for several days or weeks following the mole removal procedure.  You can expect a scab to form over the area and then fall off – this is normal.  Within two to four weeks, you will likely notice the redness around the area subsiding, and from this point you should be fully healed.


All surgeries carry some risk, even minor ones.  When cleaning the area, watch out for excessive bleeding, pain, pus, or a foul smell.  All of these things could indicate that the area is infected and must be treated by a doctor right away.  If you notice that you are not healing within the timeframe specified by your doctor after the procedure, you should make an appointment to check up on the affected area.

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