Mole Removal Ottawa
Skin moles and skin tags are common growths on the surface of the skin. They are typically harmless. However, As these skin lesions grow on the surface of the skin, they can interfere with profile of the skin in that area, or the smoothness of the skin in that area. They may also interfere with the appearance of clothing, preventing certain types of outfits from being worn. As well they can cause irritation when they rub against pieces of clothing or get caught against belts, ties, or jewelry.
What are skin moles?
Skin moles are very common. Almost every person has at least one mole on their skin. A skin mole is a cluster of cells that grow above the top skin layer. These cells are typically the ones that produce pigment and the moles can be darker or lighter in appearance compared to the surrounding skin. Some of these areas are flat and other areas project out above the skin. Sometimes, these moles grow underneath the skin and show up as a bump under the skin.
What are skin tags?
Skin tags are small, soft, clusters of regular skin cells that stick out above the skin. Skin tags are typically the same color as the surrounding skin. They typically form along body folds and can be found anywhere on the body.
How can skin moles be removed?
Removal of a mole in Ottawa can be done by surgical excision of the mole and a small area around it. Surgical excision is a common technique and is very safe when performed by an experienced surgeon. The removal of a skin mole takes only a few minutes. The mole and surrounding skin is first cleaned and then numbed. The mole is then carefully excised, and the tissue is gently closed using sutures and treated so that it can heal properly. There should be no pain involved after the area is numbed.
There are other small lumps and bumps on the body that can also cause a patient concern from a cosmetic perspective. These may include lumps under the skin along the scalp, neck, back, arms, or legs. As well, there can be skin tags along any area of the body. These can also be removed using surgical excision. The procedure is essentially the same.
Who will be removing my moles or skin lesions?
Dr. Zhang is an experienced, board-certified General Surgeon and will be the physician removing the moles/skin lesions. She has had extensive experience removing skin lesions from all areas of the body, including face, neck, chest, abdomen, back, groin, arms, and legs.
How do I prepare for a mole excision?
There are no special preparations needed. Some patients may need to stop certain medications (eg. Blood thinners) for a number of days before the procedure. These medications are restarted after the procedure is done. During the consultation process, Dr. Zhang will review your medical history and any medications you are taking. You will be advised if you need to stop any medications before the procedure.
When should I be worried about a mole being potentially cancerous?
There are some warning signs of a mole that should prompt you to have it assessed:
- Asymmetry – one side looks different in size, shape, or colour.
- Bleeding – bleeding or scabbing that occurs and does not heal or is recurrent over top of the mole.
- Borders – irregular, jagged, spotty, borders, some with nearby “satellite” lesions
- Colour – unusual colours (Eg. Blue, black), multiple colours, or recent changes in colour.
- Diameter – Larger moles should be assessed, especially a mole that has suddenly increased in size.
- Evolution – Any mole that has changed over time in size, shape, or colour should be assessed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a referral to have my mole removed?
If your mole or skin lesion is considered benign, then you do not need a referral from a family physician to have your mole removed. You can simply contact our clinic to schedule a consultation.
Who should get their skin moles or other skin lesions removed?
Most people with a skin lesion that bothers them can have the skin lesion removed. The ideal candidate for mole removal or cosmetic skin lesion removal is someone who has had their mole assessed by a physician and diagnosed as benign (non-cancerous).
What to do after a mole removal?
There will be a dressing placed over the incision which should be left on for 48 hours. The incision should be kept dry for the same amount of time. After 48 hours, the dressing can be removed and does not need to be replaced. You can shower and wash the area as you normally would. Moisturizer should be applied once daily over the incision to help decrease the scar appearance. You should also apply sunscreen over the incision if it is in an exposed area every time you go outside.
The stitches will be removed within 7-10 days. It is important you come back for the follow up appointment to remove the sutures.
The use of moisturizer and sunscreen should continue for at least 1 month. Bathing, swimming, hot tubs, should be avoided for 2 weeks after the excision.
There should be minimal tenderness after the excision. Some people experience some discomfort, similar to when there is a small cut in the skin. You can take over the counter painkillers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).
Is mole removal a long process?
Mole or skin tag or lumps and bumps removal does not take long. Most procedures only require 30 minutes from start to finish. If you are here for a consultation and mole removal, your appointment time may be longer to allow time for discussion and for all your questions to be answered during the consultation.
Will I have a scar after mole removal?
There will be a small scar after mole removal by surgical excision. The scar will eventually become flat and faded after it matures and will not project outwards like the removed skin lesion.
How painful is it to remove a mole?
The removal of a mole should not be painful when performed correctly. The area surrounding the mole is numbed using anaesthetic before the mole removal is performed. This process is commonly known as local freezing. Dr. Zhang will check the area after the local freezing is given to make sure the area is fully numb before starting the procedure. There will be some discomfort when injecting the anaesthetic for local freezing. This discomfort goes away quickly as the freezing takes effect. The numbness from the freezing will typically last for 2-4 hours. Most patients will not need pain medication afterwards. If there is discomfort, over-the-counter pain relievers such as Advil or Tylenol can be used on an as needed basis.