If a mole is removed by Shave biopsy and it comes back, is it normal the 2nd removal would show atypical when the 1st one wasn't

Doctor Answers 1

Abnormal cells in a previously biopsied mole

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If a mole is shaved off for a biopsy the resulting healed cells that are left behind could show as falsely atypical to the pathologist because of micro scarring. Even a mole that gets scratched or picked at can look falsely atypical. That being said, the remaining cells could have changed and become atypical so complete removal is recommended. The general rule of thumb that I use is if the remaining pigment returns and extends beyond the previous scar, it's more concerning. 

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