Discovering a mole that you believe is suspicious can often feel like a worrying experience. In many cases, an unusual mole isn't an indicator that there's anything serious happening. However, you might want to attend your local skin cancer clinic to rule out the chance of metastatic disease. Sometimes, this means using a mole removal service, so now's a good time to learn more about how they work.
Why Do People Choose to Have Moles Removed?
Some people who attend skin cancer clinics to have their moles removed aren't worried about cancer, but they do dislike the way a mole looks. Aside from cosmetic reasons, some may attend on the advice of their doctor. Or, they may self-refer to request that a specialist removes the mole. In all cases, the person removing the mole is likely to send it away for a biopsy. This means someone will examine it in a laboratory environment and look for signs of cancerous changes that might warrant further investigations.
What Happens After a Mole Biopsy?
In most cases, it takes between one and two weeks for the laboratory specialists to analyse a mole for signs of cancer. Once the results are back, the doctors at your skin cancer clinic will send a letter with the results. If they find that there are signs of cancerous cells, you might need to attend another appointment where they perform a wide excisional biopsy. This means they'll remove more tissue from the surrounding area. Depending on what the specialists suspect is causing the cancerous changes, they may also decide to remove some nearby lymph nodes for biopsy.
Is It Painful and Does It Take Long to Recover?
On the day of your mole removal, the clinician performing the procedure will probably use a local anaesthetic to numb the surrounding area. They'll only proceed when they're confident you feel comfortable, so it's okay to tell them if you think you're going to experience pain. The type of stitches they use will depend on the size of the mole, but you're likely to benefit from dissolvable stitches. This means you won't need to go anywhere to have them removed. If they don't use dissolvable stitches, you'll probably need to see your GP or a practice nurse to remove them.
Overall, the staff at the skin cancer clinic you attend for a mole removal will try their best to explain everything. But if you do have any questions, it's always a good idea to ask them for your own peace of mind.