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A mole (or “nevus” in doctor-speak) is a very common reason for someone to seek treatment from their dermatologist or family physician.
One of the most important questions to answer prior to removing a mole is whether the lesion in question represents a skin cancer or is just a benign (not dangerous) growth. Any lesion that has recently changed – whether it is an increase in size, a change in shape, or a change in color – should be biopsied to ensure that the lesion does not represent a skin cancer before being removed.
Below is an excellent chart which shows the difference between benign “moles” and malignant skin cancers – in this case, melanoma. When looking at any skin lesion, remember your “A, B, C, D, E’s”!
For a mole that has any of these characteristics or is otherwise suspicious, it is best to have the lesion biopsied before removal to ensure it is not a melanoma (or other form of skin cancer) that would require more extensive treatment. If you are uncertain whether your mole may be cancerous, please make an appointment with our office or see your dermatologist or primary care doctor and have it evaluated.
Dr. Hall sees patients almost every day that have benign moles that they would like removed, most of them on the face. Unfortunately, some of them have been advised against having them removed because the “scar” would be worse than the mole itself.
Many dermatology offices routinely use liquid nitrogen to treat moles and other small skin lesions. While they are marginally effective in removing the lesion, they can leave unsightly white spots that are difficult, if not impossible, to completely eliminate.
Radiowave surgery is a new technology (although not really – it’s been around for over 30 years) that uses radiowaves to effectively vaporize tissue layer by layer. The mole is, effectively, slowly melted away! Unlike other methods of removing unsightly moles, radiowave surgery requires no incisions and heals much like a rug-burn would – almost without a scar in most cases!
Mole removal with radiowave surgery is a simple procedure that can be performed in minutes with no incisions, no sutures, and almost no discomfort.
Because of the gentle nature of radiowave surgery, multiple moles can be treated at the same time.
At your office visit, Dr. Hall will examine the lesion first. If there is any suspicion that the lesion may be a skin cancer, he will perform a biopsy first. Assuming the lesion is benign, a small amount of anesthetic will be injected just below the mole to numb it. Under magnification, the mole is then vaporized layer-by-layer until it is completely removed.
The treated area (where the mole used to be) is then covered with a thin layer of antibiotic ointment. Over the course of the next 7-10 days, this area will heal (much as a rug-burn does) and be a small pink spot. Once the skin has healed, it can be covered with makeup to completely conceal it. At your follow-up visit a few weeks later, it is often difficult to determine exactly where the mole originally was!
Dr. Hall has patients who travel from across the country to have their moles removed using radiowave surgery because of the nearly “scarless” results this technology enables him to get. If you have any questions about whether or not you may be a candidate for mole removal with Dr. Hall or you would like to meet with Dr. Hall to discuss your options, call (865) 973-9500 or use our contact form and request an appointment. For out of town patients, feel free to request an online consult via Skype.