I went to the dermatologist and she said I have an irregular mole on my back that needs to be removed because it may be or become melanoma (it is flat ) She want to cut it out and leave it open to heal no stiches. I am concerned if it is malignent this is not the proper removal technique ans may cause it to spread. Is this the proper procedure for irregular mole removal?
Proper Procedure for Irregular Mole Removal?
Doctor Answers 4
How to treat an irregular mole on the back
First of all, please ignore advice such as that below from plastic surgeons suggesting you only see a plastic surgeon. 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. I would recommend being evaluated by a board certified dermatologist that specializes in surgical procedures, as plastic surgeons rarely do shave excisions.
You can follow the video link below to learn more about identifying the changes in moles that are suspicious for skin cancer.
Proper Technique for Mole Removal
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, when a pigmented lesion is felt to be suspicious and needs to be biopsied the best option is to remove the lesion completely. If the pigmented lesion is too large to be easily removed or is in a cosmetically sensitive area where complete removal would cause unsightly scarring, the next best option is to perform an incisional biopsy (i.e. cut out a portion of the lesion). It sounds like your dermatologist is planning to do exactly what the AAD recommends. Further, there is absolutely no proof to suggest that cutting into a melanoma increases the risk of metastasis or decreases a person's survival.
Pre malignant mole should be removed and repaired by plastic surgeon.
There certainly are different approaches, but I think you are best off having this completely removed with a little bit of normal skin around it to make sure it is all out. Then the wound should be revised and repaired in 2 or 3 layers to give you the best possible result.
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Suspicios moles should be removed full thickness and submitted for pathology. The wound is closed in layers.
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.