Mole Removal Methods: Excision with Cauterization

Mole removal for either health, cosmetic or comfort reasons may be performed via cauterization. Cauterization is one of the more effective methods at permanently altering the layer of skin in order to decrease the chances of the mole growing back. However, be aware that cauterization is perhaps more likely to leave a scar than other methods.

Initial Testing

If you're electing to undergo mole removal for health concerns, your doctor may first perform a biopsy on the mole. To do this, she will need to make an incision or shave layers of the mole off of the skin. Depending on your doctor's recommendation, you can then immediately have the remainder of the mole cauterized or you can wait on the biopsy results. If you're having the mole removed for cosmetic or comfort reasons, you may not need a biopsy at all.

The Procedure

First, your doctor will sterilize and numb the area surrounding the mole using topical or injectable local anesthetic. You may have to wait between five and 15 minutes for the anesthetic to take effect. She will then perform the biopsy, if necessary. Even if you do not need a biopsy for health reasons, your doctor may have to shave off layers of the mole that protrude from the skin. If the mole is flat, she will not need to shave off layers during cauterization mole removal.

Following the biopsy, your doctor will use a special cauterization tool to burn away several layers of skin. She will attempt to burn away as many layers as possible in order to get rid of all of the mole skin cells and decrease your chances of having the mole grow back without burning too deep and potentially damaging nerve endings.

Because the cauterization tool sterilizes and closes the flesh as it burns, you will not need stitches following the procedure. You will be asked to keep a bandage over the area for a few days to keep infection out of the wound.

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