Mole Was Removed Via Shave Biopsy; However, Should an Excisional Have Been Performed? (photo)

On Tuesday, I had a mole (see below) removed via shave biopsy. My dermatologist identified it as suspicious for the color. I am expecting results within the next 10-14 days. After doing more resesarch on my end, the mole appears to be more than just "suspicious." Should an excisional biopsy have been performed? If so, how do I have this difficult conversation with my dermatologist? Thank you in advance!

Doctor Answers 3

Suspicious moles

A shave biopsy should be enough to send to pathology to confirm a diagnosis.  Depending on the results of the biopsy, it may be necessary to completely excised the lesion. 

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Shave versus excision of suspicious moles.

Shave excision can work but in my opinion is not the best option. I would mention that you read this somewhere but do it in a nice way without offending the doctor. I would still get it excised and do it sooner than later.

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

Shave biopsy vs excision

I don't think an excision would deem any more helpful actually. In the case where a site is suspicious, I often begin with a shave biopsy of the piece to send into a lab. Then if the slide reads there is anything atypical, only that additional portion needs to be removed. A larger excision for a small site is excessive because 1. it's costly and 2. a larger removal than necessary may have been done so you can have a larger scar than needed. My opinion is that it's best to start small, and move to larger things as it's confirmed those are needed.

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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