Mole removal can be performed when your physician or dermatologist suspects cancerous growths, but it may also be performed purely for comfort or cosmetic reasons. What you can expect during the removal process actually differs slightly depending on the type of mole you're having removed and your doctor's preference.

Removal via Excision

One simple way to remove moles is via excision. Your doctor will numb the area with local anesthetic and then use a scalpel to cut out the mole. If the mole is raised, simply removing the entirety of the raised part may be enough to improve your comfort or appearance, but in some cases, your doctor will remove the entire base of the mole and may make a somewhat large incision. Depending on the size of the incision, you may then get stitches, dissolvable stitches or simply a bandage. If you have traditional stitches, you will then have to return about a week later for removal.

Removal via Shaving

You can also elect to have mole removal performed via shaving. The area surrounding the mole will be numbed and then your doctor will use a specialized tool to shave down the surface of the mole. This is especially effective when you have raised moles. However, shaving usually does not remove all of the mole and its base and also leaves some layers of the pigmented skin in tact, highly increasing your risk for having the mole grow back again.

Removal via Cauterization

Cauterization is another popular method for mole removal. Your doctor will first numb the area using local anesthetic and then will use a specialized cauterization tool in order to burn away the layers of skin with the mole. You won't need stitches, as the cauterization tool will leave the skin sterile and healed.

Your doctor may use another method of mole removal, such as laser surgery, but the basics of all methods of the procedure involve locally numbing the area, removal and possibly stitches.