Best Doctor for Mole Removal?

I am getting a mole removed on the underside of my nose right between my nostrils, Dermatologist will charge $160. Surgeon will charge me $825.

Who should I trust? Who should I go to? $825 seems ridiculous. Please give me your insight.

Doctor Answers 5

What you consider a mole may not be an actual mole

Your dermatologist can tell you what the skin lesion is and all the options available whether he or she does the procedure or not. Some flesh colored moles are shaved off with no stitching needed and cosmetically look much better than excising them and leaving a scar. Some bumps are not moles at all and are really seborrheic keratoses or barnacles which are curretted off without leaving a trace under local anesthesia or are certain types of warts which may only need freezing or burning off. Plastic surgeons generally do not know what a currette is nor how to use one. To them everything gets cut out and sutured up and therefore a scar is left in its place.

Cost for shaving a mole is roughly $150-250 plus the office visit or path if your doc recommends it. Moles that are excised are roughly $350 plus the office visit and path. Freezing or burning lesions run $150 each. I hope this helps.

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Dermatologists Are Skin Experts

Dermatologists are the physicians most highly trained to address skin issues - from diagnosis of skin conditions to performing skin biopsies and skin surgery.

Sure, other specialists, such as surgeons, may do a good job at handling skin disorders, but without knowing more about the surgeon you visited, I would recommend that you follow the advice of the dermatologist.

The difference in price is quite large, so I am assuming that the surgeon intends to surgically excise the mole and repair it using sutures, rather than performing a simple biopsy, which is what it seems the dermatologist is planning on doing.

In a case like this, it may be helpful to visit the dermatologist again and ask him/her to review the treatment options for the mole, including the risks and benefits of each one, in addition to the price of each treatment.

Ilya Reyter, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Mole removal surgery experts

Both dermatologists and plastic surgeons are experts in removing moles, both benign and malignant. The outcome of the surgery is based on the experience of your physician along with your healing ability. As well, the location of the mole being removed is important as some areas heal much better than others. Also, the older you are, the better the healing is on the face.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Your options for Mole Removal

There are several ways to remove skin lesions on the face. Most frequently, they are "shave off" flat with the scalpel or excised, meaning cut out completely.

Option number one, or shaving, usually involves getting them flat with the surrounding skin, It takes a little longer to heal, leaves the "roots" in place, meaning they can come back in several years, but if done well, it is least likely to leave a scar.

Option number two, cutting it out completely, involves cutting the lesion, the "root", and a small margin around it. It leaves a small hole in the skin, which then is closed pulling it together, adjusting as necessary, and leaving sutures. This is the option we always have to choose for malignant lesions, since we need to remove the roots. It will leave a scar, which can be fairly inconspicuous, but will always be there.

Usually either the plastic or facial plastic surgeon or dermatologist will discuss all of these options with you and recommend the best one for you. Hopefully they will have some before and after photos of similar lesions. You have to realize that the pricing we as physicians establish for our cosmetic procedures is somewhat arbitrary. Some doctors try to keep their prices realistic, and some may charge whatever they feel like. The difference in price in your case seems fairly large and it may or may not be related to the skill of the doctor, so perhaps a second discussion with both of these professionals may be in order.

Stella Desyatnikova, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Mole removal expert

Dermatologists are experts in diagnosing and treating skin conditions and lesions, benign or malignant. A dermatologist specializes in skin surgery, including cosmetic removal of moles . That being said, all skin surgeons are not created equal. You need to see before and after pictures from your surgeon to get an idea of what their work usually looks like. Lastly, I recommend that for any mole you have removed it should be examined under the microscope to be certain it is benign whenever it is removed. Dermatologists will have this available in their office and are trained to read the slides for definitve diagnosis of the mole.

Shawn Allen, MD
Boulder Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.