I had a cosmetic mole removal done in Seattle, Washington. I went in to have the mole looked at because I was concerned with some irritation I was experiencing off and on and they enthusiastically said many times "there's nothing wrong with it medically, but we can remove it!" "let us get you the information about having that removed."
Honestly, at the time I wasn't even really thinking of removing it for cosmetic reasons, but they were so enthusiastic about wanting to remove the mole. I thought about it a bit, and decided I would go for it since they said "in a month it will be just a flat, slightly pink scar and then it will fade into normal skin color or maybe a bit lighter." That didn't sound bad to me and although I didn't hate the mole or anything, it wasn't my favorite physical attribute.
A couple weeks later, I went in for the actual removal. A little nervous I asked the nurse who was checking me in for the procedure for more reassurance about the scarring and overall outcome. She enthusiastically told me that EVERYONE is happy with their results. When the PA came in (guess I should've really gone with an actual cosmetic surgeon or cosmetic dermatologist), she looks at the mole and goes "oh, this mole is really red. Hmmm, yeah, I think I can shave it off anyway" (she removed the mole via the shave method btw). She went on to say that it might still be red afterwards. This was news to me as before they brightly said "oh yeah, it'll fade to skin color after a couple months." Nervously, I said "well, do you still think I'll be happy with the cosmetic outcome?" At this point I already have marker on my face around the area and a local anesthetic in my skin. She goes "oh, yeah, definitely." I really felt like I was already at the point of no return and didn't have a chance to think at all with this new information she was handing me.
She did the procedure, which was painless and took less than 5 minutes. Slapped a bandaid on me, told me the nurse would give me instructions on healing and said "it'll be ugly for awhile but it'll heal." Ummmmmmm......ok? I'm not even sure what that's supposed to mean. Well, anyway, it's four months out and it is nothing like what they told me in my initial appointment. I am left with a deep purple scar that is very indented and WAAAAAAAAY more noticeable than the mole ever was. I actually think I even miss the mole, but maybe that's because I just hate the scar so much. I'm guessing if it had healed how they actually said it would that I wouldn't be saying I missed the mole.
I also want to say that I had realistic expectations. I knew there would be a scar, but the scar I envisioned from what they told me would be much, much smaller and less noticeable than the scar I am left with. I am so self-conscious of the scar all the time and it's really, really sad because I was never self-conscious of the mole before. I'd had the mole for as long as I can remember and never thought much about it. Now I think about the scar all the time.
Also, I'm not sure how they know that EVERYONE is happy with their mole removal because they never did any follow up with me. I am going back in this week to see if they can fix the damage they've done, but I'm not at all optimistic and I don't trust them at all.
Anyway, the moral of my story is, if you have a small mole that doesn't really bug you that much, maybe this procedure isn't for you. Everyone's situation is different. But don't let a doctor or anyone else tell you that it will without a doubt heal up nicely with a scar that is barely noticeable because things like this do happen and you have to think of the risks/possible rewards. The office I went to was supposed to be this great office, the main doctor has even been on Oprah. So I really thought I was in good hands....