Mole Removal Surgery

Mole Removal Surgery

Being prepared for mole removal surgery will reduce the risks involved.

Reasons for Mole Removal Surgery

People choose to remove moles for cosmetic or medical purposes. In the latter, the mole is suspected of being cancerous and needs to be tested. The reason for mole removal surgery can affect the way to prepare for surgery.

Conduct Research

You should conduct internet and/or book-based research to understand how mole removal surgery works and to find an appropriate dermatologic surgeon. As Dermatologist Joel Schlessinger highlights “it is always prudent to choose a dermatologist or surgeon with appropriate skills and experience with these removals. This will decrease your risk associated with this procedure.” Surgeons should be certified by the American Board of Dermatology. These can be found through The American Society of Dermatologic Surgery physician finder.    If possible, ask friends or relatives who have had mole removal surgery for a recommendation. Talk to people who have had surgery about the benefits, risks and possible complications they experienced.

Attend Consultations

Before surgery you will have a series of consultations with a doctor or dermatologist. These usually last 30 minutes to one hour and involve discussions on the moles to be removed, the removal techniques available and the associated risks and benefits. If the mole is suspected to be cancerous the testing procedure and time frame will also be discussed. Once the patient is happy with the procedure an appointment for removal will be arranged.

Arrange Finances

It is not guaranteed that the surgery will be covered by your health insurance. Generally speaking, it will not be covered if it is for cosmetic reasons, unless it can be proved that the mole(s) are causing psychological problems. If the mole is found to be malignant then the cost can usually be claimed back from the insurance company.  However, this varies by company and policy and so it is important to check your policy document and ring the insurance company to make sure.

If the costs are not covered then you need to make sure you can afford it. This may mean working extra hours or delaying the start of the surgery in order to save up. Costs are on a per mole basis and so the price may affect the number of moles you decide to remove. Prices range from $125-$400 depending on the geographic region, the size of the mole and the technique used. However, the quoted prices do not normally include anesthesia, hospital stay (if applicable) or operating expenses. Make sure you ascertain the total cost before planning your finances.

Book Time Off

Mole removal surgery is relatively simple and so it is done as an in-office visit or in a doctor’s surgical suite. The procedure only takes about an hour but it is best to book a day off work and/or to arrange child care to allow time for the local anesthetic to wear off and for the redness and swelling to reduce.

Plan Aftercare

As with any surgery, mole removal surgery carries a risk of infection. To reduce this risk plan to apply an antiseptic cream to the wound twice a day. Buy Sun Protection Factor 15 and apply this to the wound regularly after the surgery to reduce the impact of scars. If stitches were used, plan for their removal. As Schlessinger explains, “facial sutures are typically removed within four to seven days. Stitches elsewhere are usually removed from eight to 21 days.” If the mole is suspected to be cancerous it will be sent to a laboratory for testing. Prepare yourself for potential bad news by talking to friends and relatives.

Joel Schlessinger is a Board Certified Dermatologist working for Skin Specialists, P.C. More information can be found at

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