How Mole Removal Surgery is Performed

There are a number of different mole removal surgery options, but they do involve a few of the same basic steps. If you're considering having a blemish removed, you can expect at least some of the following:

1. Numbing the Area

The first step in any mole removal surgical procedure is to numb the area of skin surrounding the blemish. This typically involves an injection of local anesthetic directly into the blemish or the base of the blemish. Only in extremely rare cases are these types of removal procedures anything but simple outpatient procedures.

2. Cleaning the Area

Your medical professional will then use an antibiotic, most likely a cleansing alcohol, to clean the area. This is to help prevent infection and the spreading of any dirt and bacteria into the area that will be worked on.

3. Removal with a Type of Tool

This is where the mole removal surgery process may deviate depending on the type of procedure you and your medical professional choose. Your medical professional will remove the blemish and/or its base with either a scalpel, a laser or a cauterizing tool. The scalpel is the most basic tool. For a complete extraction, your medical professional will use the scalpel to remove first any protruding part of the blemish and then the base (all of the darker-colored skin). During a biopsy or shaving procedure, she will instead use the scalpel just to remove any protruding part and leave the remainder of the base in tact.

If your medical professional uses a laser, the laser will literally evaporate the cells in your blemish and its base and not require any incisions. Similarly, the burning tool she will use during cauterization won't make any incisions and will instead burn off the blemish and its base.

4. Possible Sutures

If the tool caused an incision in your skin, your medical professional may then close up the hole using sutures. This is almost always a required step during scalpel incision, except if the mole was largely a skin tag without much of a base or during biopsy/shaving. Laser treatment and cauterization most often do not require any sutures, as the skin will be effectively closed during the treatment.

If you do require sutures, they may be traditional thread-like sutures that your medical professional applies with a needle. (You should not feel anything more than a little pressure due to the numbing agent.) You will then have to come back to the clinic in about a week, during which your medical professional will remove the sutures and check on the healing process. Your medical professional may also choose to use liquid sutures instead, which act a bit like glue to hold the skin together and will dissolve on their own after a few days to a week.

5. Possible Testing

If your medical professional thinks the blemish was irregular enough to suspect cancer, she will send the removed blemish to a laboratory for testing. She will only be able to do this with scalpel surgery, as laser treatment and cauterization will obliterate the blemish.

Your cosmetic specialist, dermatologist or physician will be able to analyze your mole in detail to see which type of removal surgery she recommends. Just remember that if you're looking to have a facial blemish or a blemish in another delicate area removed, your regular physician will likely transfer you to specialist.

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