Mole Removal Surgery

Mole Removal Surgery
 
 

Otherwise known as cryotherapy, a mole removal freeze involves literally freezing a skin growth with liquid nitrogen (or a similarly cold liquid) to destroy it and encourage it to fall off without affecting the surrounding area. This treatment is often used to remove moles, warts and skin growths that are pre-cancerous or showing signs of becoming cancerous. It is one of the most successful ways to remove skin growths, even amongst those that have become cancerous. Several treatments may be needed to

What is involved?

In its simplest form, a mole removal freeze involves immersing a cotton bud in liquid nitrogen (or similar applicator) and applying it to the growth. This may needed to be repeated. Liquid nitrogen can also be sprayed onto a growth. Before the freeze is performed, the area will be cleaned and dried but preparation will generally be minimal. Discomfort is to be expected given the extremely cold temperature of the liquid nitrogen. A local anesthetic may be carried out for this treatment.

What happens afterwards?

The growth will turn white immediately after the treatment as a result of having been frozen. The skin is very likely to become red and sore and a blister will usually form. This blister turn into a scab, which later falls off within a fortnight.

The wound will ooze liquid for a while afterwards and should be gently cleaned while it continues to do this. Soap and water is usually all that is necessary for this. It is often recommended that you apply an antibiotic ointment to large wounds to reduce the risk of infection.

You may experience some pain and discomfort in the aftermath of the treatment and many patients describe this as a throbbing sensation. Any post-treatment pain can be relieved by over-the-counter painkillers but in some cases, a stronger painkiller may be necessary. The healing process can vary depending on where the growth has been removed. For example, growths that are removed from the head and neck can take anything from four to six weeks to heal while growths that are removed from elsewhere will need more time.

Are there any side effects?

As a mole removal freeze is not a high risk way to remove skin growths, side effects should be relatively minor. As with any treatment, there is a possibility of scarring and infection. The likelihood of developing an infection is greater in individuals with circulatory problems who are having growths removed from the legs, ankles and feet. The skin may become lighter or darker after a mole removal freeze treatment. This often lasts for a few months but it can also be a long-lasting problem. Short term nerve damage is also possible if growths are removed in areas that are close to the surface of the skin, such as the fingers and wrists.

How much does it cost?

A mole removal freeze is not a particularly cheap way to remove skin growths, especially as three or four treatments will usually be necessary. The costs will vary but paying something in the region of $610 for this is not uncommon.

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