Mole removal is an extremely common procedure that removes a mole from your skin if you are concerned that it might be cancerous or for cosmetic and practical reasons.
What is a mole removal?
Mole removal is the removal of small, coloured spots on your skin, called moles.
Moles can be removed if:
Your dermatologist thinks a mole could have any abnormal or cancerous cells.
The indications for mole removal to check for abnormal cells include a mole that:
- Has increased in size
- Has changed shape
- Has an irregular colour
- Has changed in colour or become patchy
- Is over 7mm in size
- Is inflamed or oozing
Moles removed that are suspicious of cancer will be examined under a microscope.
Or, you have a harmless yet bothersome mole
Most moles are not cancerous and are simply an overgrowth of your pigment cells. Although harmless, these moles may be bothersome and affect your self-confidence. Examples include if the moles are:
- On your face or other parts of your body where they can be seen
- In a position where they are prone to bleeding or catching on clothing
- Large, dark or hairy.
You may choose for cosmetic reasons to have a mole removed. Cosmetic mole removal can be arranged privately at West Valley Hospital as this service is not available as an NHS patient.
What does a mole removal treatment involve?
A mole removal treatment is usually carried out under local anaesthetic as a day case procedure.
Treatment to remove your mole will vary depending on the type of mole you have, its size and location. Your surgeon will advise you of the most suitable procedure for you.
The most common techniques to remove a mole include:
- Mole excision surgery - usually used for moles that have suspicious features or that are not suitable for shave excision. Your mole is removed using a scalpel. It is then sent for a biopsy and assessed under a microscope. Your wound will need to be closed up with stitches afterwards. If any cancerous cells are found, your surgeon will advise you if any further surgery or treatment is required.
- Shave mole removal – used only for harmless moles that protrude from the surface of your skin. Your dermatologist or surgeon will ‘shave off’ the mole using a surgical blade. It only takes a few minutes to perform and the wound will heal without any stitches usually within ten days.
- Laser mole removal – used for flatter and lighter coloured non-cancerous moles, often when treating multiple or difficult to get to moles. Specific wavelengths of light destroy dark pigment and laser energy cauterises the skin.You may need two or three treatments to achieve the cosmetic result you desire. Laser treatment offers minimal scarring but there is a small chance of mole recurrence at the same site.
- Cryotherapy or freezing – used for larger, flatter moles. Liquid nitrogen freezes your moles so that they drop off without surgery. It may leave a small blister on your skin that will heal quickly.
How long does it take to recover from a mole removal?
You will be able to go home the same day as your mole removal procedure.
If you have had mole excision surgery you will be able to return to work the day after your procedure unless your work puts a strain on the area stitched. You should avoid getting your incision site wet for the first few days.
If you have had a cosmetic mole removal you will be able to return to normal life immediately.
The healing process of your mole removal may take between one to four weeks as your skin regenerates over the wound.
What is the cost of a mole removal?
The cost of a mole removal will depend on the type of mole you have and the technique used to remove it.
We have self-funding options to suit your finances including our All-inclusive Total Care packages and interest free finance medical loans.
Your private medical insurance may cover the cost of your mole removal if your doctor thinks it is suspicious. We advise that you obtain written confirmation from your insurance provider that they will cover your mole removal before you start treatment.
Mole Removal with West Valley Hospital
West Valley Hospital can quickly and simply remove moles for medical or cosmetic reasons. Our surgeons regularly perform mole removal using excision surgery for moles that are suspicious of being cancerous, and use a variety of techniques appropriate to the mole type and patient preference for cosmetic mole removal.
Contact us to book an appointment!