Introduction to Mole Removal – Skin Surgery
Mole and freckle removal is designed to remove freckles, moles with hairs, red moles, raised moles or warts so that you are left with blemish-free skin. A large percentage of the population are born with moles that can often be a source of embarrassment and for that reason this procedure is designed to help you regain your confidence.
Who is suitable?
We will assess your mole fully to ensure that it is benign (not cancerous). Many of our patients come to us as they uncomfortable about their appearance and would like to have their mole removed safely. Some of our patients also come to us as their mole has cause for medical concern and needs to be removed to ensure full health.
Types of moles and freckles
There are many different types of moles and skin blemishes and it may help you to familiarise yourself with the variations and the removal procedures we offer. Please note if you are concerned about any skin lesions or blemishes, you should consult your GP immediately.
Hairy mole removal
Hairy moles are usually raised and dark moles with one or more long hairs growing from the surface. They are usually benign but can also be a cause of embarrassment and as a result are often removed for cosmetic reasons.
Freckles are flat blemishes on the skin surface that range in colour from light brown to black. Most freckles aren’t concerning, however their location can be a cause of embarrassment (for example the tip of the nose) and as a result, many patients choose to have them removed.
Dark mole removal
Dark moles can range from flat patches of pigmentation to raised dark moles. They aren’t usually concerning but many people request their removal due to the way they look. However, if you have a dark mole that has irregular borders or pigmentation or is growing quickly or causes itching or bleeding then it is important that a GP or specialist sees this immediately. It is always safest to have removed tissues tested in a lab to rule out causes for concern.
Red mole removal
Red or red-coloured moles are usually benign (not cancerous). They can be caused by a collection of blood vessels under the skin known as an angioma or haemangioma. Many patients choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons.
Raised mole removal
Raised moles can be hairy and/or dark. They are mainly removed for cosmetic reasons or because they can interfere with your choice of clothing or grooming routines.
Often raised moles are confused for warts and warts are confused for raised moles. A wart is a growth on the surface of the skin caused by a virus (often HPV) but in older people, a wart skin growth can occur called seborrhoeic keratosis (commonly referred to as a large mole).
Skin tag removal
Skin tags are small skin growths that are raised from the skin surface on a stalk. They can often occur on the neck and armpits are aren’t usually cause for concern. However, although they are benign, they can sometimes become irritated by clothes, jewellery and can also be cut when shaving.
Multiple mole removal
Many patients come to us wishing to remove more than one mole, or more than one type of mole. Often it is more convenient to have them removed in the same session, and in most cases, this can be done safely and without difficulty.
The procedure and risks
Mole and freckle removal is a relatively simple procedure that is performed under local anaesthetic. Before skin moles or freckles are removed, you should have a full consultation with a specialist to determine the nature of the lesion. Only when you have done this can we devise a treatment plan for you.
Moles can be removed in many different ways and they include: shaving or scraping, excision (removing the root of the mole and closing it with stitches), laser removal, staged excision (this is usually for large moles) and occasionally reconstruction (for example, skin grafts. This is usually a method used for large moles).
After the procedure, we usually send the removed tissues to a lab for testing (this is called a histology). We do this to ensure that your tissue is not a cause for concern.
As with every surgery, this procedure carries risks. They include: bleeding, bruising, infection, scarring (the extent of which depends on the size of your lesion and how the skin the heals), wide, red, lumpy, indented or keloid (overgrown or thick) scars, sensitive or painful scars, sensation loss around the scar and mole regrowth.
Please note that should the testing of the lesion reveal abnormal or cancerous cells then further surgery may be needed.
Your wellbeing is our number one priority and so we offer a comprehensive and personalised aftercare package, which is included in your treatment.
After your surgery, we will provide you with post-operative care instructions and you will have 24-hour access to trained staff who will be on hand to advise you should you have any questions or concerns.
After the surgery, we will arrange follow-up examinations with your surgeon to monitor your progress and check that you are recovering well.
Your surgeon will see you after 2 weeks for a follow-up and if necessary, for subsequent appointments until you are fully recovered. The follow-ups are standard and will be provided at no extra cost.
In the unlikely event of a problem, we’ll make immediate arrangements for you to be seen by trained staff and (if needed), by the surgeon who performed the procedure. As the Sthetix surgeons live and work locally, you can see your surgeon at relatively short notice. After performing surgery our surgeons don’t leave the country or the local area. Very rarely, a surgeon may leave the local area for other commitments but if this happens, we would ensure that there is another trained plastic surgeon from our team available to provide you with comprehensive care.
Can I have mole removal by the NHS?
Any mole which is considered “suspicious” when seen by a Consultant in the NHS would be removed, however, if the Consultant considers the lesion to be benign and the request for removal to be for cosmetic reasons, they may recommend that removal is carried out in the private sector.
How long does it take to recover?
You can return to work immediately but the area of operation can take up to 2 weeks to fully heal. It is important to note that different people and different parts of the body heal at different rates.
When can I drive?
You can drive whenever you feel confident enough to perform an emergency stop without discomfort. Please check with your insurance company before you drive.
Will I have a scar?
In most cases, a scar is inevitable after surgery to remove a skin lesion. Scars generally take about 6 months to mature i.e. the scar may go from red colour to your natural skin colour or slightly paler. Unless there has been a complication (delayed healing, hypertrophic scarring or keloid formation) most scars end up being a relatively pale white line.