Ask a doctor

Mole Was Removed Via Shave Biopsy; However, Should an Excisional Have Been Performed? (photo)

On Tuesday, I had a mole (see below) removed via shave biopsy. My dermatologist identified it as suspicious for the color. I am expecting results within the next 10-14 days. After doing more resesarch on my end, the mole appears to be more than just "suspicious." Should an excisional biopsy have been performed? If so, how do I have this difficult conversation with my dermatologist? Thank you in advance!

Doctor Answers (3)

Suspicious moles


A shave biopsy should be enough to send to pathology to confirm a diagnosis.  Depending on the results of the biopsy, it may be necessary to completely excised the lesion. 

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Shave versus excision of suspicious moles.


Shave excision can work but in my opinion is not the best option. I would mention that you read this somewhere but do it in a nice way without offending the doctor. I would still get it excised and do it sooner than later.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Shave biopsy vs excision


I don't think an excision would deem any more helpful actually. In the case where a site is suspicious, I often begin with a shave biopsy of the piece to send into a lab. Then if the slide reads there is anything atypical, only that additional portion needs to be removed. A larger excision for a small site is excessive because 1. it's costly and 2. a larger removal than necessary may have been done so you can have a larger scar than needed. My opinion is that it's best to start small, and move to larger things as it's confirmed those are needed.

Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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.

You might also like...

Ask a Doctor

Get personalized answers from board-certified doctors. For free.