What Can I Expect From Mole Removal Recovery By Excision?

Hello, I went to a plastic surgeon to see my mole and he suggested me to remove it by excision. I am worried about the recovery time because I dont want to go to my job with a big cut. My mole isn't big , its medium size and its in my face. How much time will it needs to heal? What will be the size of the wound after the surgery? Bigger than my mole?

Doctor Answers 9

Mole removal

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The wound should be healed within 1 week but it may take longer to gain its strength.  A scar can take 12-18 months to fully mature.

Mole removal recovery

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The surgical incision will be longer than the lesion, creating an ellipse which will be closed using plastic technique.  This can be covered with a bandaid. Sutures would be removed in about five to seven days.  The sutures can be covered by a bandaid and you can return to work the next day. You would not be going to work with a hole in your face or anything unusual.  You may have some surrounding bruising but nothing unusual.

What to Expect After Mole Removal

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This is a great question and is one of those situations we get asked each and every day. First, make sure that a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon sees this, and with you, determine the best way to remove the mole. Plastic surgeons usually recommend an excision with a linear line scar which on many occasions, may be bigger, or longer, than the original mole. If this is okay with you, than this works. If there is a visible scar remaining, laser treatments can minimize that result.

Depending upon the size of the mole, and its color, some dermatologists may recommend using a scalpel and performing what typically is a shave excision for that mole. The mole is taken off flesh to the skin, a special wound dressing is applied, and on many instances, the healing leaves one with a minimal scar, sometimes almost none at all. And again, if something needs a laser touch-up, this also can be done in the future.

Be careful — big scars are not needed any more.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

What Can I Expect From Mole Removal Recovery By Excision?

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Thank you for your question. Most patients find an incision line less conspicuous than a mole (nevus) on their face. During your convalescence, the swelling subsides rapidly in the first week after the procedure. The amount of bruising varies from almost none, to a lot and it depends mainly on the individual patient. The length of time it takes for the discoloration to disappear is basically the same as the time it takes for bruises to resolve elsewhere on your body. Sutures are removed in 5-7 days. After the procedure there are also several modalities of scar treatment that can be employed to help the scar as it matures through its lifecycle. I recommend that you make an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon for a thorough exam and to discuss your surgical options.

Small moles can be removed and the incision covered with a spot bandaid.

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Mole removal is usually very simple.  The incision can often be covered with a spot Bandaid and suture are usually removed on the face in 5 to 7 days.  With skillful excision the scar almost always look much better than the mole.  It will take a few weeks to as long as a year for the scar to completely heal and look it's best.  Scars on the face may almost completely disappear.  If this is any irregularity, laser can be used to smooth the scar. 

Mark Taylor, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Surgical excision of a mole

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Typically, a mole is excised as an ellipse of skin.  So, to close the skin evenly, the tradeoff is a lightly longer scar than the mole itself.  The scar will appear as a straight line probably oriented along natural skin wrinkle lines already present in your face.  The scar will initially look red and inflammed and then slowly fade and soften.  Once it has healed, you can apply camouflaging makeup even a week later. 

Wound Healing and Recovery after Excision of Mole

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There are basically two ways to remove moles (or nevi) on the face. The first is shave removal, also known as tangential excision. The second is excision. Tangential excision works best for skin-colored nevi, where the doctor has no suspicion that the lesion could be dangerous. Excision works best for darker colored nevi or if the doctor is concerned about a possible skin cancer. Recovery tends to be a little simpler and easier for the tangential method, but recovery for both techniques is fairly quick and easy. The best option is to discuss these techniques with your doctor and discuss recovery time, wound healing and expected cosmetic result.

Recovery from Mole Removal

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These are all great questions and ones which you should ask to the physician who excises the mole. The face, unlike other areas of the body, heals fairly well and stitches can be removed 7 days after an excision.  They size of the wound is usually a little longer than the mole itself and will appear as a line of stitches.  We have great bandage materials at our fingertips and thus are able to create very comfortable, effective, cosmetically-tolerable bandages.  Every physicians has different bandage and wound care techniques and recommendations and I am sure your physicians will discuss them with you. 

Showing your face after mole removal

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Removal of a mole in most cases should result in very little cosmetic change. For the most part, a simple mole removal results in an a closed incision same size as, or smaller (now that it is closed) than the original mole. 

A simple skin-tone colored piece of tape will hide it well. It is also possible to use clear sutures. 

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.