Removal Options for Raised Mole?

I have a raised mole on the right side of my face. I don't know if the mole is malignant, but I really want it removed for various reasons. I want to know, what procedure is best for removing my raised mole and how much will it cost?

Doctor Answers 15

Mole removal

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The lesion should be formally removed using a plastic surgical closure to optimize the resultant scar.  I agree that it might be a suspicious lesion and warrants full pathology evaluation.  The fee in NYC would be at least $750.  Note that fees vary throughout the country and based on the experience level of the surgeon.

Mole Removal and best treatments

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Your photo is hard to distinguish the exact nature of your mole.  The safest method would be to have a shave biopsy of the lesion performed under local anesthesia.  The mole would be sent for the pathology lab to determine if it is benign or malignant.  A mole such as yours would never be lasered off.  The treatment should generally run $400.  Be certain to find an experienced board certified dermatologist.

Mole removal

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It is difficult to evaluate from this photo what option would be best.  There are a variety of factors involved.  One option would be to have the lesion completely surgically excised and sent to pathology.  Another option is to do a shave biopsy and have that sent to pathology.  It's difficult to see if the lesion is raised or not. 

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

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No BEST WAY to remove a mole

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as your presentation and history will determine if it requires further evaluation by a pathologist.  If it is not suspect, ablation with laser or cautery would be adequate and if you did not like the resultant scar, a subsequent scar revision could be done later.  If suspect, it is always best to excise it (completely if possible) and send it for evaluation by a pathologist.  As for closure, simple is always best and that would be a purse-string in my hands.  And if the scar isn't satisfactory or it remains symptomatic, a scar revision could always be done later.  Wishing you the best that your mole is a benign one.


Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Mole removal

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You would probably want to have a procedure which completely removes the mole along with the roots.  Then have it biopsied so that a doctor will look at it under the microscope because you need a specific diagnosis for this dark colored growth.  Cost varies greatly, so sorry, I couldn't hazzard a guess.  If you have health insurance, this would be the way to go. All the best ," Dr. Joe"

Removal options for pigmented lesion on cheek

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Given that the pigmented lesion on your cheek is darkly pigmented, I would recommend that it be excised and sutured closed. Other options, namely shave removal and lasers, are, in my opinion, less optimal for a couple of reasons. The amount of pigment in the lesion suggests that if you remove the lesion by shaving it flush with the surrounding skin there will likely be a recurrence of pigment at the surgery site. And most likely that pigment will not come back as evenly pigmented but more irregular in color, which would be more noticeable cosmetically and would also be more difficult to monitor for potential malignant change. Laser removal would likely be incomplete; in other words, there would still be some residual pigmentation and like shave removal the color would be irregular. Plus, using a laser to try to remove the pigmented lesion will not provide tissue to examine microscopically to assure that there are no signs of malignancy. If this were a flesh-colored or tan "mole," it could be removed by shave removal technique, but since it has signficant pigmentation, it should be excised and sutured. By the way if there were any features suggestive of melanoma (e.g. the "ABCDs of Melanoma") the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that it be excised and not shaved off. So have a dermatologist evaluate the lesion before you have it removed.

Andrew Kaufman, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Mole Removal for Raised Facial Mole?

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There are several options for removing a mole (laser, shaving, and cutting). Given that raised moles can grow deeper than just the surface of the skin, I would suggest excising the entire mole via cutting method (best way to ensure all mole cells are removed above and beneath the skin so you won’t see the mole grow back again!)

During mole removal, I will mark the area around the mole to be removed in the shape of an ellipse (oval), and then numb the area around the mole with local anesthetic.

After the anesthetic kicks in, I will use a scalpel to cut around the mole (elliptical excision), cut out the rest of the mole beneath the skin and cauterize (or burn) the area to prevent excess bleeding. The area is cleaned, sutured, and steristrips are placed over stitches to keep them clean and safe.

Kenneth Bermudez, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Raised mole removal

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The size, color, and depth of a mole determine how is can be removed. Your skin color and whether or not you are trying to get rid of the mole because it has hair growing out of it also determine how it can be removed.

In general, there are two appropriate ways to remove a mole. One it so shave it flat, or flush, with the skin. If done well, this method can lead to a scar-less mole removal. These moles sometimes will slowly regrow several years down the road and they can be removed again if they do. If you are dark-skinned, this type of mole may pigment when you go in the sunlight--so you would then have a flat, dark mole rather than a light, raised mole or a dark, raised mole.

If you are dark-skinned and you want NO pigment (i.e. no flat mole either) or if you are trying to get rid of the mole because the hair that grows in it drives you crazy, the mole will need to be excised. This entails numbing it up and excising it followed by a careful closure with layered sutures so the scar is minimized (unless it is teeny tiny and a single-layer closure is appropriate). This type of mole removal will leave a scar, but can often be very small and hardly noticeable--especially when on the face. Areas off the face tend to scar more than the face does.

It is ALMOST never appropriate to have a mole "lasered off", "burned off' or "frozen off" because the mole cannot be sent in for pathology if it is destroyed this way. If the mole is completely benign appearing, and is normal under dermatoscopy (or dermoscopy) then only ONLY a BOARD-CERTIFIED DERMATOLOGIST is trained to determine if it is okay to remove a mole that way. You do not want a skin cancer to be "lasered off" without pathology and margins being checked on the specimen and that is impossible to do if it is lasered, burned or frozen off. There are some moles however that are completely benign appearing and are at extremely low risk for malignancy and could be relatively safely removed with a laser.

Cheryl Lee Eberting, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologist

Easy to remove moles from the face by two methods.

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Moles (nevi) do naturally grow over time, and some people prefer to have them removed. No matter what, the removed mole should be sent for a pathologic evaluation to ensure it is benign (removal of benign moles is sometimes not covered by insurance). There are two methods to consider for removal. The first, quicker, less expensive, and with an excellent cosmetic outcome in many situations, is a shave removal. This allows the raised portion of the mole to be removed without stitches, and leaves a flat mark where the mole was. Sometimes this mark heals so well it is not visible, and sometimes, pigment from the center of the mole asserts itself and there may be a brown freckle where the mole was, after a few weeks.

The second method for removal is more involved and more expensive, and leaves a small linear traditional surgical scar. This method is called excision, and it removes the entire mole including the root, and requires about a week of stitches. No pigment will return in this case, if the root was entirely removed.

Depending on the type of scar you prefer, and how much you want to spend, you can make the decision with your board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

Keep in mind that if there is any suspicion at all about problems in the mole, the doctor should determine what type of removal is done.

Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Scalpel Sculpting Is A Simple Method For Removing Moles

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Moles, or nevi, are dark, oval-shaped “beauty marks” or “birth marks.”  Most are benign.

If you’ve always wanted to have these things removed, but hesitated because of the fear of stitches, scarring, or the expense of surgery, the quick and simple, minimially invasive, no-stitches-required techniques described below may be just right for you.

Scalpel Sculpting is an excellent method for removing growths elevated above the skin surface. Immediately following the administration of a small amount of local anesthetic just beneath the spot, the doctor uses a scalpel to remove it with a horizontal, back and forth, “sawing” motion of the scalpel blade that essentially “sculpts” the undesirable area away from the surrounding normal skin. The wound underneath is left to heal by itself. Since the cut is so superficial, no sutures (stitches) are needed, and there is little risk of scarring. The cosmetic result is generally excellent, and the whole procedure takes literally under five minutes. As a rule, the removed tissue is sent as a biopsy for pathology just to be sure it is benign.

Sculpting procedures generally run between $150-$350 for each area, depending upon the size, the exact method used, and the location of the lesion.


Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

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.