Hi, I have a mole that is located on my left cheek right above the mustache end. This mole is about to be removed by a plastic surgeon.I know I am going to have a scar and I have been researching the mole removal procedures and it seems this is the procedure that will leave the biggest scar out of all the other procedures. So now I am reluctant to remove the mole using this method and I am thinking about shaving the mole and have less scar? So what do you doctors think? shave it or remove it?
Shave the Mole or Remove It All by a Plastic Surgeon? (photo)
Doctor Answers 12
Removal of mole on the face
I have shaved thousands and thousands of facial moles. The vast majority of the time the results are very good to excellent. There is always the risk of mole or pigment recurrence and I advise my patients about this risk. A dark mole is more likely to recur with dark pigment after a shave procedure. Shave works best for moles that are raised. It is difficult to shave a flat mole without leaving a depressed scar. The shave techique is highly operator dependent. It is better to be conservative and leave a slight bump than to go too deep and leave a crater scar. I tell my patients that they can always have the mole excised after a shave procedure if they don't like the scar or if the mole recurs.
Mole Removal can be done with minimal scarring
A scar becomes noticeable if it...
1. heals a different color than the surrounding skin
2. becomes wide during the healing process
3. becomes raised or"hypertrophic" during the healing process
These three features can be minimized by using basic plastic surgery principals which deal with each of these issues at the time of the mole excision.
When I perform mole removal I take into account the location, skin type and skin tension in the area of the mole to best plan the most cosmetic way to remove the lesion. Your moles appear to be removable with minimal scarring using these techniques but a proper examination is needed to be certain.
I have removed similar moles to yours and have before and after pictures on the link included below.
Shave biopsies are not a good way to diagnose and excision can be done so that the scar can be acceptable
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Excise or Shave Mole?
Thank you for the question and picture.
If this mole were on my face I would want it to be excised rather than “shaved”. The excision will allow for complete removal, less chance of recurrence, and a finer ( more predictable) line scar than shaving will allow.
I hope this helps.
Moles is good locations
Your mole is well located in the nasolabial fold and so a formal excision will make a much less visible scar there as it is aligned with the natural fold. One out in the middle of the cheek might be another matter. I'd go with excision of the one you have because dark ones also tend to recur after shaves. Finally, any dak mole should be examined pathologically and in the rare chance it is a melanoma, having shaved it ruins the best prognostic indicator of treatment and survival, namely its depth.
Dark moles will retain their color after shave removal
If it is the color that bothers you, the excision would be the way to go. Faces heal well, and your scar should be minimal in 2 or so years. Best to you.
Shave or excision of mole
Your mole does not look very raised and is quite darkly pigmented. For these reasons, I would recommend excision rather than shave. It will allow the mole to be removed in its entirety for histological analysis and whilst it will leave a scar (shave excision also leaves a scar, although different), it should fade in time and the hope would be that it would be difficult to see after some months. Good luck. Jonathan Staiano
Best way to remove a mole
Whether to shave or excise a facial mole
Depending on its size and location, facial moles can be easily removed by either technique. Dermatologic surgeons, not plastic surgeons, typically do both procedures expertly and can decide which would be best for your particular mole. Either method, done properly, should result in a minimal scar. If for any reason a shave excision does not heal as well as expected, it can always be excised and sutured at that time, but this almost never happens in my experience. I would recommend being evaluated by a board certified dermatologist that specializes in surgical procedures, as plastic surgeons rarely do shave excisions.
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.