Mole Removal - Can I Get Radio Surgery?

I am wondering why it seems that plastic surgeons do not use the method of radio surgery for mole removal? Or maybe some do? I understand there is still a sample for biopsy after removal this way, so that could not be the reason. I recently had 2 removed by excision but found out about radio surgery after the fact. I have more I will want removed in the future and if there is some reason not to use this method I would like to know. Thanks

Doctor Answers 6

Radiosurgery for mole removal

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Radiosurgery is a great method for nevus "mole" removal.  The machine I use is the Ellman Surgitron with a loop electrode.  The advantages are brevity and simplicity of the procedure, and yes, there is a specimen to submit to pathology, although the deep and peripheral edges may be marginally damaged (burnt).  The disadvantage is that radiosurgery leaves a small superficial open wound where the lesion was, and this takes a week or two to heal.  During this time, an adhesive bandage may be used to protect the area (if it doesn't simply scab over).  Usually, the resulting scar is imperceptible to the casual observer.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Radiosurgery is an effective way to remove moles

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Radiosurgery is an effective way to remove moles. Just as there are many ways to skin a cat both radiosurgery and excision are two ways to remove a mole. In any case a biopsy specimen is necessary to rule out cancer in the mole.

Edward Lack, MD
Chicago Dermatologist

Radio-Frequency Surgery for Mole Removal

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There are numerous ways to remove moles and the best method almost always depends on the size, depth, and location of the mole.  Each method may have an advantage in a given situation but the most important factor is the skill of the dermatologic surgeon.

I am also surprised at how infrequently a shave excision is used to remove moles when this method is often the quickest, easiest, and least likely to scar method of all.

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

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Advantage to Radio-Frequency Surgery

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Great question.  As a general rule, surgeons will use a technology if there is an advantage.  This advantage can be in outcomes, speed, complications or it can be in marketing.  The bottom line on why radio-frequency surgery is not used is that there is no significant advantage to its use.  This applies to any technology and should be one of the questions that you ask your surgeon.

Joseph Campanelli, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon

Mole a Removal

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A shave removal of a mole is preferable to avoid leaving scars. Radio surgery offers no advantage over traditional shave removal. It is critical to send a sample to the laboratory to make sure that the mole is not cancerous. Please consult a board certified dermatologist about the best method of removal. 

Radio surgery can remove moles but has no advantage over a scalpel.

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Radio surgery (electric) generates more tissue damage than a scalpel because of the electromagnetic energy that is delivered to the remaining tissue.  It can be used but a scalpel is a gentler way to do the operation.

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.