Is 6 weeks Too Long Between Laser Mole Removal Sessions?
- Asked by bay_ in San Bruno, CA
- 2 years ago
My plastic surgeon suggested having 6 weeks between every Laser Mole Removal session. Why so long? Wouldn't 6 weeks help the mole recover or something?
Mole removal, need thorough evaluation by a dermatologist
Ideally, moles should be examined by a board-certified dermatologist prior to laser ablation. If at all possible, biopsy should be performed to rule out skin cancer. If pathology reveals nonmalignant nature of a pigmented lesion, then laser mole removal may be considered using a Q-switched Nd:Yag laser every 4-6 weeks or so.
Web reference: http://www.drwilliamting.com/Laser_Surgery.php
Laser removal of moles is controversial.
Personally I will treat small flat moles with a laser that are less than 3mm in diameter and are evenly pigmented. Some patients have hundreds of very small moles that can be safely and completely destroyed with a laser without a scar. Any mole of any size with irregular pigment or shape should be excised and sent for pathological examination. Flesh colored moles that are raised can be biopsied and flattened with a C02 or Erbium YAG laser. They will usually recur over time. The gold standard removal for nevi is an artful excision with pathological examination. Large congenital pigmented nevi may be improved cosmetically with a laser, however the risk of malignant transformation remains.
Moles Should Never be Removed with a Laser
I feel that it is never appropriate to use a laser as your primary treatment for removing a mole. Regardless of how "benign" a mole may appear, a biopsy may still reveal it to be atypical. Using a laser to improve the appearance of a mole will alter its look and make it more difficult to observe for precancerous changes in the future. The majority of a mole can be removed very easily, and less expensively, using a shave biopsy technique. This typically results in a minimal scar, making the mole much less visible. It also has the added benefit of having tissue to send for microscopic examination, at least for reassurance purposes. With this method, the mole is actually shaved off at a very superficial level just below the surface of the skin. The procedure typically takes less than a minute and is painless after a tiny injection to numb the area. Moles that are removed in this fashion should not recur enough to be bothersome. If they do, they can always be excised and sutured at that time, but this almost never happens in my experience. I would recommend having this treatment done by a board certified dermatologist, as plastic surgeons rarely do shave excisions.
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If the diagnosis is actually a mole, then it should be surgicaly removed not destroyed by laser or any other method, it also should not be shved. The entire mole should be removed and submitted to pathology fo exact diagnosis. one does not want to mis a malignant melanoma or dysplastic nevus.
There are many other pimented lesions as keratosis that can be lasered , cauterized because they are benign.
Moles (melanocytic nevi) should not be removed with a laser
There are a number of different pigmented lesions such as freckles, hyperpigmentation and seborrheic keratoses that can be removed with laser treatment.
But moles that are collections of melanocytes, pigment-making cells in the skin, should be either excised or left alone if benign and not suspicious. Lasers typically remove only a portion of the mole, which can then recur and look very odd afterwards.
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.