Biopsy For Suspicious Mole?

I had a suspicious mole removed from my back .The 2 biopsy reports came back as lentiginous functional nevus with severe atypical extending with in 5 mmof the peripheral biopsy margin. The doctor stated that both reports it was very hard to distinguish between the severe atypia & melanoma in situ so the less severe diagnosis was used , because the treatment is the same. Is this usual?

Doctor Answers 4

Mole removal and biopsy results for atypical moles

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Options include sending the pathologic specimens to a board certified dermatopathologist for second opinion, and deferring to a more conservative approach to minimize recurrence.  I use a board certified dermatopathologist for my biopsy specimens. 

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Excision of a severely atypical mole

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I would opt for the more conservative approach as treating this lesion as the more severe diagnosis to be safe. It is important to have a wider excision done to get clear margins for a mole that is severely atypical, but extra care is usually taken to get good, clear margins for a melanoma in situ. You should also have follow up full skin examinations at least every six months. You can follow the video link below to learn more about identifying the changes in moles that are suspicious for skin cancer.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Mole removal

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I would highly recommend that you receive a copy of your pathology report and get another opinion from a physician.  

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

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Melanoma treatment

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The treatment for a malignant melanoma and a severely dysplastic mole are very different.  I suggest you get a copy of your biopsy report and get a second opinion.  Malignant melanoma is treated with a much wider surgical excision margin than a severely dysplastic mole.  Please find a board certified dermatologist who has experience with skin cancer.

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.