Mole Came Back (But Smaller) After Benign Biopsy?

I had a mole removed last year and came back completely normal (not even atypical). Should I be concerned now that the mole has recurred? It's smaller than the original mole and at the same is otherwise identical.

Doctor Answers 4

Mole recurrence

If the biopsy of a mole shows a benign mole, then there is no importance to it recurring. It simply signifies that the mole was superficially removed, likely by a shave biopsy, and likely to try to minimize scarring. Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto Dermatology Centre.

Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Mole recurrence

A biopsy will only partially remove a lesion.  There is a chance that the mole can recur.  If the mole returns and over time becomes suspicious, it would be advised to have the mole biopsied again or completely surgically excised.   

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Mole removal through biopsy and the mole has returned

Not necessarily. Moles can return if the margins were not large enough. The bigger the mole the more margins lead to a greater success. Depending on how much you take out, your chances are less if more margins of normal appearing skin is included in the mole's removal.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Mole Came Back After Biopsy

Chances are that your mole was biopsied with a shave technique.  This uses a blade to shave off the top portion of the mole to send to pathology.  This technique can leave behind some "roots" of the mole if it was deep, and these "roots" can cause the mole to regrow over time.  Provided that the pathology was completely normal, this shouldn't be a cause for concern.

Hallie McDonald, MD
Austin Dermatologist

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.