Moles come in various sizes, shapes, and colors. While most are benign, certain types are at increased risk for malignant transformation – meaning development of skin cancers such as melanoma. Any significant change in any feature of a mole warrants further investigation and sometimes removal of the mole. If you have a mole that has changed significantly or is exceptionally large, evaluation by Drs. Henstrom or Thompson or a dermatologist can be helpful in determining whether or not a biopsy is warranted. These types of evaluations and procedures are typically covered by insurance.
Some patients have benign moles that are simply aesthetically unattractive. In such cases, our surgeons can assist you in determining the most cosmetically acceptable method of mole removal. Smaller, more raised moles can often be shaved off in the office at a short appointment with no to minimal scarring. Excisions are done in the office where the mole is cut out and repaired in a way to produce minimal scarring. Both techniques are done under local anesthetic with minimal pain following the procedure. Sutures, if used, are taken out 3-4 days after and steri-strips are applied to hold the incision together for another 3-4 days for optimal results.
Multiple moles can be removed at one time in various ways and may or may not involve insurance coverage. Dr. Thompson can evaluate the medical necessity of the removal(s) to determine which moles could be covered by a particular insurance plan, at which point, our medical staff call to verify benefits and coverage prior to the actual procedure.
In all cases, an appropriate skin care regimen as well as sun protection is critical. Consistent use of a good sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that contains zinc and/or titanium oxide (physical blocker) for up to 1 year is important for minimizing visibility of the scar following an excision.