Skin Mole Removal Surgery in Sydney by Dr Kernohan
- Do you have an unsightly mole?
- Has your mole grown or changed recently?
- Worried about your mole?
You’ve probably had a weird mole somewhere on your body for as long as you can remember. And for just as long, you’ve probably been anxious about how it makes you look – and that perhaps it’s not just a mole, but could be cancerous. You may need Mole Removal Surgery.
Moles are of many different types. Approximately 1% of newborns are born with some kind of mole. Most moles are usually harmless and noncancerous. Nevertheless, a mole can be cosmetically disfiguring. Besides being unsightly, sometimes, moles also evolve into melanomas.
Given their negative cosmetic implications, the risk for developing malignancy and adverse effect on a person’s psycho-social wellbeing, moles often require expert treatment to remove them completely.
Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Michael Kernohan is an expert at skin surgery and mole removal. He performs mole excision in 5 clinics located in Sydney Southwest suburbs and Southern Ranges. Find out more about moles including how to diagnose and treat them.
What’s a Mole?
A mole is a benign (noncancerous) tumour on the skin. Clinically, it’s referred to as a nevus ot nevi for more than one
- Most moles tend to be small
- A mole can be smooth or raised skin growths
- They often appear as round to oval, pigmented protuberances
- Some moles have a mammillated surface with hair on it
- People with moles tend to have only one, nevertheless, it is possible to have more than one
Occasionally, moles may show progressive variations in color, shape, and sometimes even form nodules. Such changes need prompt expert evaluation as they might be part of the malignant transformations that lead to skin cancer.
Most moles often tend to appear in late childhood. Some, however, are usually present at birth.
During embryonic development, melanocytes (melanin-producing cells) form and migrate into the skin. It is theorized that moles are usually a result of morphogenic errors in the formation, growth, and/or migration of melanocytes.
What are the Different Types of Moles?
Moles present at birth are referred to as congenital moles. Those that manifest later in life are referred to as acquired moles.
At birth, congenital moles tend to be light in color with a flat or slightly raised surface. As the person grows, the mole may darken, become larger and acquire long, course, dark hairs. Some congenital moles disappear on their own as age increases.
The commonest congenital moles are the congenital melanocytic nevi.
Acquired moles are not apparent during birth. They often appear in late childhood and teenage years. nevertheless, they can develop much later in adulthood.
Physically, acquired moles may be indistinguishable from congenital moles.
Examples of common acquired melanocytic nevi include junctional nevi, dermal nevi and compound nevi.
There are many other types of moles. An atypical or dysplastic nevus, for instance, is a large, irregularly shaped mole which is particularly known to increase a person’s risk of melanoma skin cancer.
The best way to know for sure what type of mole you have is by consulting a mole specialist.
Making a Diagnosis For Mole Removal
A skilled skin specialist is able to clearly diagnose your mole, they will take into account its primary and secondary features
- A mole’s primary features include such things like:
- Its location on the body
- Its size, shape, and appearance
- Whether or not it’s accompanied by smaller satellite moles
- It’s color, hairiness and nature of its surface
To understand its secondary characteristics, a sample of the mole will be biopsied and sent to the lab for analysis. Based on the findings from the lab, the skin specialist is then able to better diagnose the mole in question.
Proper diagnosis is critical because it guides your doctor on how best to treat/remove a mole. The procedure used to get rid of a mole is dependent on, among other things, the type and nature of the mole.
Additionally, moles can share some features of melanomas. A proper diagnosis is thus essential in differentiating harmless moles from risky, potentially cancerous moles.
Therefore, you are highly discouraged from trying to self-diagnose with intent to remove a mole at home. Doing so could lead to countless undesirable complications.
Dangerous Moles – Identifying Risky Moles or Nevi
More often than not, a mole will be perfectly harmless. So, if you have one, you have no cause for alarm. In fact, you could leave it alone and it will in no way adversely affect your health.
Sometimes though, a mole may in fact be an “ugly duckling” waiting to transform into a melanoma. A skin specialist or surgeon, after taking a look at your mole, can with certainty advise on the level of risk it carries. On you own, however, you should examine your skin for moles.
Here’s a simple ‘ABCDE’ model that you can use to look for melanoma danger signs.
Check whether some parts of the moles have a different shape, color, feel or appearance from other parts
If the outline of the mole is irregular and poorly defined from the rest of the border, you should have a skin specialist check it out.
The mole shouldn’t include unusual colors or different shades of one color. If you feel like the color of your mole isn’t right, talk to a cosmetic physician.
Large moles have increased risk of malignant transformation and should be looked at by a skin specialist.
Make note of any changes overtime. Important changes include color, shape, size, itchiness, hairiness, bleeding, and nodularity.
A risky mole means that some of its cells are precancerous or cancerous. Such a mole needs to be biopsied and removed without delay.
Removing a mole to prevent development of a melanoma is clinically referred to as prophylactic mole removal.
For most people, however, the primary reason for removing a mole is aesthetic improvement. Most moles can be removed or at the very least made less noticeable.
Anyone can be an ideal candidate for mole removal. and with an expert skin specialist on your case, mole removal is a quick, painless, very effective process.
Options for Cosmetic Mole Removal in Sydney
There are several treatment options when dealing with moles. By and large, all mole treatment interventions are aimed at:
- Achieving satisfactory cosmetic results
- Eliminating the risk of malignant transformation
- Maintaining adequate body/organ function
During your consultation, the skin specialist will explain to you what treatment modality works best for your mole.
Some commonly used mole removal techniques in Australia include:
- Surgical excisions
- Shave excisions and curettage
- Chemical peels and cryotherapy
- Laser treatment
Mole removal is tailored to each specific patient. To improve the cosmetic outcome, skin specialists often have to combine several treatment inventions. Factors that influence the interventions used include, among other things
- The size of the mole
- Its location
- Its malignant potential
- Its clinical appearance
- The ease of clinical follow up
- Expertise and experience of the skin specialist or plastic surgeon
- Available resources at the health facility
The cosmetic outcomes of removing a mole are tightly linked to the treating doctor’s expertise and resources available at the health facility.
Therefore, it should be no surprise that we recommend having your mole removed by highly skilled, experienced skin specialist who works in renowned health facilities & medical theaters.
– Surgical Excision
Small moles can be excised surgically in a relatively simple manner. Surgical excision involves cutting out the mole from the skin. This is usually followed by closure of the defect left behind after the mole has been removed.
Larger moles may however require more specialized excisions and additional procedures such as tissue expanders, serial excisions, skin grafting and biological agents to regulate wound healing.
Small moles may be taken out within minutes. Conversely, larger moles may require a couple of hours and/or repeated excisions.
This mole removal technique scrapes the top layer of the skin (epidermis) and part of the dermis. In so doing, it eliminates the superficial cells of a mole.
– Shave Excisions and Curettage
Shave excisions and curettage are minor surgical procedures that “shave” or “scrape” off raised parts of the skin. When performed by a skilled plastic surgeon, these procedures achieve reasonably good results with satisfactory cosmetic success.
– Chemical Peels and Cryotherapy
For some reason, your mole might be surgically unresectable. Consequently, doctors will sometimes utilize chemical agents such as phenol and liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy).
Chemical peels and cryotherapy are often quite effective for moles that arise in the epidermis and superficial dermis. Usually MRI, ultrasound or optical coherence tomography scan will be used to determine the depth into which the mole penetrate the skin.
– Laser Treatment
Lasers can be used to destroy mole tissue. Most patients will require several laser treatments to fully get rid of a mole and achieve acceptable cosmetic results.
Carbon dioxide and Q-switched ruby lasers are some popular mole removal procedures used by skin specialists in Australia.
Lasers are often preferred for their precision and effectiveness in destroying melanocytes. In so doing, they reduce skin pigmentation and lighten the skin tone.
Laser treatment is also attractive to most due to its low scarring potential as well as its ability to eliminate hair that grows on moles.
The mode of treatment for a mole is highly personalized. After initial assessment your skin doctor will advise you on which method(s) are best to get rid of your mole safely, quickly while improving your cosmetic appearance.
Your Mole Removal Surgery Journey and Recovery
Consultation with Dr Kernohan
A small uncomplicated mole can usually be removed in a single office visit. Occasionally, however subsequent visits are necessary.
The first step nonetheless is booking a consultation.
When you sit down for an initial consultation several things happen.
- Your medical history will be reviewed
- Your mole and skin are examined
- The doctor explains the best mole removal options
- The doctor may also recommend mole biopsy to collect samples for further lab investigations
The initial consultation is also a great chance for you ask any question that you might have regarding your mole, treatments, procedures, costs and financing options, etc.
Mole Removal Procedure
The process of removing a mole takes less than 10 minutes for small moles. Larger, complicated moles may require more time and serial treatments.
Most mole removal techniques are executed after a local anesthetic has been used to numb the area. Pain and discomfort are thus minimal.
After the mole has been removed, the wound is closed up using sutures, graft tissue, tissue expanders or various other methods depending on the defect left behind. A bandage is then applied onto the area.
Recovery after Mole Surgery
After treatment you will receive instructions on proper wound care and management.
You might be asked to return within 1-2 weeks for follow-up
In the first 1-5 days, there might be some mild tenderness over the area where the mole was removed.
Recovery from mole removal is nonetheless quick since most procedures are usually minimally invasive. You should be able to return to previous levels of activity and functioning within a week or two.
- Your skin specialist will also give you direction on how to minimize scarring after surgery.
- Some ways in which you can help your skin heal with minimal scarring:
- Keep the area clean, undisturbed, and protected at all times
- Avoid too much stretching or touching the treated area
- Minimize exposure to direct sunlight
Ask your plastic surgeon about skin rejuvenating treatments to encouraged healing and proper collage production
Longer Term Results of Mole Removal
Most mole removal wounds heal within one month. This time might be longer if the mole was so big that it required wide, deep, or repeated excisions.
For most patients, the resultant scar fades away naturally within one year.
Therefore, within about one year, you can expect to see no visible evidence that you had a mole on your skin. You can then enjoy a new, smooth, and beautiful skin permanently for the rest of your life.
How much is Mole Removal Surgery in Sydney?
Every patient is different and you may have one or more moles of different sizes. The price of mole removal in Sydney depends on the expertise and skill of your specialist.
Mole Removal Surgery FAQs – Questions about mole Excision
How much will it cost me to have a mole removed?
- The cost of mole removal in Australia usually begins at about $250. The cost however varies depending on the health facility, surgeon, removal techniques, and any additional treatments required. Your doctor will advise you on whether your insurance covers mole removal treatments. Alternatively, you can check out the available financing options.
Will my mole grow back?
- Sometimes, some cells from the mole get left behind after the initial removal. This is rare but when it happens, there’s a chance for the mole to grow back.
Can I remove my mole at home?
- This risks of cutting off a mole at home includes excessive bleeding, possible infections and bad scarring. You might also fail to completely eliminate all the mole cells, hence the mole grows back after sometime. If the mole was malignant, you might also be giving the cancer cells a chance to spread and grow. Therefore, trying to remove a mole at home is unsafe thus not recommended.
Contact Us for Mole Removal
Dr. Kernohan is a caring and emphetic surgeon and takes pride in safe mole removal. We are driven by a strong desire to help our patients achieve their cosmetic skin goals while keeping their skin naturally beautiful and healthy.
Further Reading and Medical References
- JAMA Network – Identifying Atypical Moles
- How to Deal with Moles on Web MD
- Articles on Medical News Today
Dr Michael Kernohan – Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Sydney NSW
Dr Michael Kernohan is a Sydney Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon providing a wide range of services from skin cancer to cosmetic surgery for the face, nose, breast and body.
He also offers complex reconstructive procedures following trauma and a range of cancer treatments using the most innovative and up-to-date treatment options.
Dr Kernohan is able to care for both public and private patients and currently has appointments in five Sydney hospitals and has an additional leadership role as Director of Surgical Specialities.
His main clinic is now located in Gregory Hills and he has 4 other locations – Bowral, Liverpool, Surry Hills (city) and Campbelltown Clinic – servicing patients in Sydney Southwest and Southern Highlands.