Mole removal explained
Some moles can appear prominently on the body which can affect your confidence while others may cause concern because you’re not sure what type of mole they are. Mole removal surgery is carried out by a doctor with minimal discomfort and downtime, relieving you of embarrassment and concern.
Moles come in all shapes and sizes and can be found anywhere on the body. In general, most moles don’t cause any health issues unless you notice a change in size, colour or feeling. If this is a concern, speak to your GP for an initial assessment and referral to a dermatologist who can run a diagnosis to see whether there are any abnormal or cancerous cells.
Generally, the NHS will only remove moles is they’re proven to be a health risk. Apart from a few very exceptional circumstances, if you’re considering mole removal for cosmetic reasons, private treatment is the only option for you.
With advances in modern medical technology most moles can be easily removed without pain and hardly any scarring.
Why mole removal?
There are two main reasons people have moles removed. Either they’re removed for health reasons, such as they’re showing abnormalities which indicate cancerous changes, or cosmetic reasons, which would mean the mole is benign, and the procedure is carried out to achieve aesthetic improvements.
The removal of cancerous, or abnormal cells, are necessary procedures that will improve the wellbeing of patients.
Cosmetic treatments are elective procedures carried out to enhance aesthetic appearance. Blemishes on the skin, especially in prominent areas that are difficult to cover can cause some people to feel self-conscious and embarrassed. Cosmetic mole removal can alleviate these concerns.
Changes to your mole
It’s important to check moles. You may notice changes to its shape and size which could be an indication of skin cancer.
Look out for any of these changes in your mole:
- Change in size
- Change in shape
- Colour change
If you’re noticing any of these symptoms speak to your GP.
Cost of mole removal
The cost of mole removal can vary if you decide to go private because everyone’s needs are different. There are many factors that need to be considered before the cost of your treatment can be established, including the area of the body that needs treatment, the size and quantity of moles on the body and the type of treatment used to carry out the procedure to achieve the desired outcome.
To find out the cost of your treatment you’ll need to request a quote and have a check-up with a specialist in the field. Following the check-up, you should receive a full cost break down based on what you want to achieve. Be sure to fully assess the quote to see what is and isn’t included in the price so that there are no unwanted surprises later.
Medical procedures don’t cost anything through the NHS.
What is involved in mole removal?
Initially, an examination of the mole will be required to assess the type of mole it is and identify the best method of treatment.
On the NHS, the mole is removed under local anaesthetic. Following the removal of the mole, it is sent to a laboratory to be checked for signs of abnormality or cancer. Additional samples may be required for further diagnosis.
For cosmetic treatments, mole removal can be carried out using a number of methods. Treatment options include laser, surgery or freezing. The best method for you will be decided by your doctor following their assessment.
Surgical method can take anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes to complete. This will be determined by the type of mole being removed. Raised moles can generally be removed quicker than flat or suspicious looking ones.
Laser treatment is a quick procedure and is ideal for small warts, moles and red blemishes.
Cryotherapy, or freezing, can be used on warts, small moles and minor blemishes. Can also be used on some benign and malignant skin conditions.
Some private treatments may also offer to send the removed mole to a laboratory for examination to check for abnormalities.
Depending on the hospital or clinic, you may be offered a different type of treatment which would achieve the same outcome. Your doctor should provide a treatment plan to outline the details of the procedure.
After mole removal and recovery
Mole removal is a very quick procedure. You will be allowed to go home straight after the procedure is done and will be able to return to your usual daily activity without any problems.
Fortunately, mole removal is very low risk, but like many cosmetic treatments, there are some side effects to be aware of such as bleeding, scarring and infections.
Suggestions to help recovery
Your recovery plan may vary slightly depending on the type of treatment you receive. Your doctor should advise you on what needs to be done to ensure the best results are achieved.
Here are a few general suggestions for mole removal treatment recovery:
- If you have a dressing, leave it on for up to a week or as instructed by the doctor
- Keep wound dry for the first few days
- If moisture is needed to help the healing process you may be advised to use Vaseline
- Massage with oils or moisturiser after 2 or 3 weeks to reduce scarring
- If the mole is removed from an area of the body where the skin stretches, like around the joints or back, you will need to stop exercising or doing strenuous activity to prevent the wound from stretching
- If experiencing pain or discomfort after the procedure, contact your doctor.
What if something goes wrong?
If, after the procedure, you feel you have encountered a serious problem and the results are not what you expected, reach out to the doctor that carried out the procedure.
Contact the clinic that performed the procedure and explain the situation, especially if you’re experiencing discomfort or any unusual symptoms that were not explained to you during the consultation.
Things to consider before mole removal treatment
Moles are generally benign but need to be carefully examined and monitored to make sure they don’t lead to anything more serious. They come in all shapes and sizes and can appear anywhere on the body, but shouldn’t cause any pain or discomfort. For most people, having a mole removed is a cosmetic choice, which is completely understandable, as they can be found on parts of the body that are hard to conceal.
Whatever your reason, it’s important to prepare yourself and understand what the procedure involves and what to expect of the outcome.
Are you confident that you are fully prepared for the treatment?
Here are some things you should think about:
- Can you go through the NHS?
- Are the results permanent?
- Do you need time off work?
- When will you start to see the results you expect?
- How to maintain the results of your treatment?
- When will you fully recover and resume your usual activity?
- How long is the recovery time for your treatment?
Start your search
You may or may not be ready for mole removal treatment, but it’s never too soon to reach out to a clinic or hospital, or a doctor, to start a conversation. A major part of your research into the procedure you’re looking for should include direct communication, and a consultation, with an expert. Feel free to contact multiple care providers and experts. The more information you gather about your procedure and surgeon the better decision you’re likely to make.