Should I Have my Mole Removed by my Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon?

I have a mole on my left shin, right in the middle. It's not too big, but i hate it. Nothing is wrong with it, i just dislike its appearance and have decided to get it removed. The dermatologist said she could do it no problem and she gave me all the info and my options. But, my mother is concerned about the scar. She thinks that i should go to a plastic surgeon to avoid major scarring. Advice?

Doctor Answers (4)

Mole removal

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Either dermatologic surgeon or a plastic surgeon would be capable of excising a lesion in this area.  


Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 138 reviews

Scalpel Sculpting Works Well As A Stitchless Method For Cosmetically Removing Moles (Beauty Marks, Birth Marks)

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Dermatologists have long known that cutting into the skin deeply, i.e. well below the epidermis, leads to scars, and procedures that require stitches to placed run the risk of leaving permanent stitch marks (tracks in the skin). So, if there is a way to remove a growth without cutting deeply or placing sutures, this, in my opinion is the preferred method.

Moles (sometimes referred to by the lay public as "beauty marks" or "birth marks") can be removed by "scalpel Sculpting"--a technique that I have used for more than a quarter of a century on all locations of the face and body. Scalpel Sculpting requires no deep cuts and no stitches.

A small amount of local anesthesia is instilled directly under the mole to numb the area. Following this, a scalpel is used to horizontally "sculpt" the mole off from its surrounding base following skin contours. Any irregularities that remain can then be further contoured and blended using the edge of the scalpel blade with the surrounding normal skin by a technique known as dermaplaning.

Postoperatively, the treated area forms a little scab (and resembles a scratched pimple), which falls off in about ten days, after which the resulting pinkish area fades slowly to normal or near normal skin color--a process that may take a few weeks.

Since the Scalpel Sculpting method requires no cutting to any depth nor closure with stitches, the likelihood of scarring is minimal and the cosmetic results are generally excellent, patients can return to work immediately, and there are no restrictions on activity immediately following the procedure. Using this method, a mole can be removed in no more than two to three minutes. It is also considerably less expensive than surgical techniques.

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Dermatologic Surgeons have the most experience with giving the best cosmetic results for mole removals.

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Dermatologic surgeons know all the techniques to remove and repair mole removals with the best cosmetic results since that is what they do and they have the most experience. Any doc can do a good job but you want one who does more than just cutting everything out.  Often a superficial dermabrasion afterwards can mean the difference between an acceptible result and a great result. Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

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Dermatologist or plastic surgeon for mole removal

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Depending on their size and location, moles can be easily removed by one of two methods: a shave excision or an excision with suture closure. Dermatologic surgeons, not plastic surgeons, typically do both procedures expertly and can decide which would be best for your particular mole. A shave excision is a procedure where the mole is actually "shaved off" at a level just below the surface of the skin. The other method is an excision with suture closure which uses both dissolving and non-dissolving sutures to give the best cosmetic result. All methods of surgery will leave a scar but the trick is to minimize the scar using the proper technique.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.