1 week post op, I removed a dark flat mole. Was the shaving technique a wrong choice and what could the effects of that be?

Last week i had a large dark flat mole removed from my lower back via the shaving technique. My doctor said they will send it for biopsy and will let me know the results. My concern is that i keep reading online that such moles should be removed deeper and with stitches. What if the doctor didnt remove the whole thing and what is the chance of melanoma in that case? Im not scared of scars, my only concern is if the shaving technique was the wrong choice and what could the effects of that be?

Doctor Answers 2

Mole removal via shave excision

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I always recommend starting with a shave excision which takes off just the surface area affected and sending for pathology. Why go through a huge excision process and stitches if it's not necessary and the site is benign? That's just silly and a waste of your and your insurance's time and money! Best to find out exactly what it is via shave excision and then determine what's appropriate.

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Shaving technique for a mole on the back

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Whenever I biopsy a suspicious appearing mole on the back, I will always use a "shave removal" method. The mole is actually "shaved off" at a very superficial level just below the surface of the skin. This method is quite effective to remove moles and leaves a minimal scar. If the pathological examination of the specimen shows a precancerous or cancerous mole, I will then do an excision with layer closure using both dissolving and non-dissolving stitches to ensure its complete removal. This method is perfectly safe and avoids unnecessary surgery as well as a potentially nasty scar.

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

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