Hi Dr. I'm about to turn 21 very soon and have made the decision to have my mole removed. I've had my mole since I was seven. It is located right in between my eyebrows, and is a bit smaller than a pencil's eraser. Because of its location, I am extremely nervous about having it removed, but I feel as though it is now or never. How can I go about finding the right doctor? Should it be a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon? Any important questions I should ask a doctor? Please help!
Eyebrow Mole Removal Concerns
Doctor Answers 18
Surgery means a surgical scar
Patients often come to me as a plastic surgeon for mole removal because they "don't want a scar." It is impossible to make a surgical cut and not leave a scar. What plastic surgeons and anyone who pays attention to getting the best possible cosmetic outcome do is to allign scars along natural skin tension lines to minimize the scarring.
Mole Removal in Minutes
If you’ve always wanted to have a mole (beauty mark, birth mark) removed, but hesitated because of the fear of stitches, scarring, or the expense of surgery, the quick and simple, minimially invasive, no-stitches-required techniques described below may be just right for you.
Scalpel Sculpting is an excellent method, especially for removing growths elevated above the skin surface. Immediately following the administration of a small amount of local anesthetic just beneath the spot, the doctor uses a scalpel to remove it with a horizontal, back and forth, “sawing” motion of the scalpel blade that essentially “sculpts” the undesirable area away from the surrounding normal skin. The wound underneath is left to heal by itself. Since the cut is so superficial, no sutures (stitches) are needed, and there is little risk of scarring. The cosmetic result is generally excellent, and the whole procedure takes literally under five minutes.
Scissor Excision or scissor removal is essentially a variation of Scalpel Sculpting, except that instead of a scalpel, a very delicate surgical scissors is used to cut away the growth. It is particularly useful for removing skin tags, which can be snipped off right at the base of the stalk. Here again, no stitches are required and the results quite gratifying.
Sculpting procedures generally run between $150-$350 for each area, depending upon the size, the exact method used, and the location of the lesion.
Mole removal needs to be discussed with a plastic surgeon or dermatologist
Not all moles are created equal. If the mole is pigmented and if the goal is aesthetic removal, simple excision is the way to go by either a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologic surgeon. Completely flesh-colored moles however, may benefit from shave excision by an experienced dermatologist where there will no stitch mark and if you are not completely happy with the cosmetic outcome, simple excision is always an option. But if you cut it out and repair it surgically, there is no going back.
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Qualified cosmetic surgeon can remove your mole
I would agree with Dr. Mann that the main criterion for your chosen surgeon should be experience whether you choose facial plastic surgeon or dermatologist. Depending on the type of mole you would like removed either shave excision or local excision are possible. I would also consider dermabrasion at 6 weeks following excision to optimize the appearance of the healed wound.
Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Weber Facial Plastic Surgery
Removing a Mole
Both a dermatologist and/or a plastic surgeon can get remove the mole for you successfully. Some questions you may want to ask is, "What type of procedure will he be doing? What kind of scar would it leave? What is the plan for the excision for the mole? How large of a wound will it create? What is the downtime for this type of procedure?" All of these types of questions will keep you well informed and allow you to feel safe and comfortable with the procedure.
Excision by a Dermatologic Surgeon or Plastic Surgeon
I have to respectfully disagree with my Plastic Surgery colleagues that a Plastic Surgeon will do a better job in removing this mole than a Dermatologist who specializes in Dermatologic and Cosmetic Surgery. I believe the most important criteria is the experience of your doctor rather than the type of training or years of training. A Board certified dermatologist and fellowship trained Dermatologic and Mohs Surgeon have to complete five years of training after medical school. This includes one year of intensive advanced skin cancer fellowship in which most of us perform well over 1000 cases of skin cancer surgery and reconstruction. So I would argue that a well trained Dermatologic Surgeon would do an equally great job given their experience.
But while training is one thing, more importantly is the aesthetic eye and hands of your doctor. During your consultation, I would ask your doctor how he or she plans to close the area. I would also ask to see some of the work of your physician. I would also make sure that the mole is sent off for pathologic examination (you want to make sure it is complete benign). I would also take good care of the area after surgery. And finally, remember that even in the most experienced hand, you will have a scar. Just make sure you are willing to trade off that mole for a fine scar.
Plastic Surgeon for mole removal
A mole can be removed effectively by both a plastic surgeon or dermatologist familiar with cosmetic surgical techniques. I am biased toward a plastic surgeon since I am board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, but I have seen very good work by dermatologists as well. We all work together to acheive common goals. Good luck
This is not a particularly large mole and is an area that would not be difficult to excise.
You should be able to obtain a very good cosmetic result from either an experienced dermatologist or experienced plastic surgeon.
Any excision mandates that a scar will be formed. If the mole lacks pigment and is sharply dome-shaped, a shave excision might be performed. The mole is cut parallel to the skin. Otherwise, the mole will be excised and a double layered closure used to close the wound.
Pay close attention to your post-operative instructions.
The face due to its good blood supply heals quite well and you should do fine.
Should I have my mole removed?
Anytime the skin is cut or incised, there will be a scar; in other words, the skin won't look like it did before the surgery. That being said, there are ways to minimize the scar both during the surgery as well as during the healing period. If you are willing to trade off a decent looking scar in exchange for having that mole that bothers you removed, then I would go for it. I would consult with both a plastic surgeon as well as a surgically oriented dermatologist, before moving forward.
There are ways to minimize scaring
Using plastic surgery techniques there are ways to minimize the appearance of scars. Often times a plastic surgeon can plan the incision to fit into existing skin creases or anatomic shadows. It is also important to understand what makes a scar visible and understand which surgical maneuvers can minimize these problems.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.