Choosing a plastic surgeon in Miami, FL for mole removal
Moles are extremely common. The average adult has up to 40, and many of these spots are not problematic. However, a mole can be a precursor of skin cancer, or it may look unappealing or be uncomfortable. If you are considering having one taken off, it makes good sense to trust your appearance and health to a Board-certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Nirmal Nathan in Miami, FL utilizes leading-edge techniques and technologies for safe mole removal with the best possible aesthetic outcome.
What is a mole?
Skin contains pigmented cells called melanocytes, which are normally dispersed evenly. A mole, or nevus (nevi is plural) is an abnormal cluster of melanocytes. Moles are most likely to appear on the upper half of the body, in areas where skin is exposed to sun (although not generally on the scalp). While an infant may be born with moles, most people begin to notice them in late childhood, with more accumulating by about the age of 40. Some moles then fade later in life.
It is difficult to define the appearance of a mole, because they vary tremendously. The most common is a spot no wider in diameter than a pencil eraser, with tan or brown coloration. Its round or oval shape has a distinct edge. The surface is slightly raised and has a smooth texture. All these characteristics, though, can be different depending on many factors, including skin tone and ethnicity.
The ABC’s of skin health
The majority of common nevi are harmless from a medical perspective. However, a small percentage of existing moles become cancerous. In addition, a new spot may look like just one more mole, but actually be a melanoma – the most serious and deadly form of skin cancer. An individual who has more than 50 common moles has a greater chance of developing melanoma than a person with fewer nevi.
The medical term for a suspicious mole is “dysplastic nevus.” Again, this type of mole is generally stable and does not turn into melanoma, but the presence of multiple dysplastic nevi indicates increased risk of a melanoma developing.
It is important to learn to recognize unusual spots. Get into the habit of examining your skin monthly, from head to toe, using a mirror to see all angles.
- A is for Asymmetry – If you dissected the spot with a horizontal or vertical line, would the halves look the same?
- B is for Border – Is the outline of the spot ragged, scalloped, or otherwise uneven?
- C is for Color – Watch for a spot that has a different color than other moles on your body, unusual color (like blue), or contains multiple colors.
- D is for Diameter – Is the spot is larger than five millimeters (about a quarter inch) in diameter?
- E is for Evolving – Has a new spot appeared? Has an existing spot begun to change in size, shape, texture, or elevation? Has the surface become scaly, or dry? Does the mole feel lumpy or hard? Does it bleed, ooze, or itch?
Moles that meet any of this criterion should be examined by a qualified medical professional as soon as possible, for biopsy, removal, and skin cancer treatment if necessary. Dr. Nathan and his team at The Nathan Clinic in Miami, FL provide these services, in-house.
What about unsightly moles?
As discussed earlier, most moles are completely benign, though a doctor should make that determination. Even a harmless mole, however, can cause much distress if it is in a visually obvious area, particularly on the face, or if it causes discomfort such as from clothing rubbing.
Dr. Nathan is a Board-certified plastic surgeon with a great deal of background in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. He is well-qualified to remove moles safely, with minimal destruction of healthy surrounding tissue and thus little or no noticeable scarring. His extensive background in cosmetic facial surgery ensures that patients obtain the best results.
Many options for mole removal in Miami, FL
Your skin and lifestyle are unique, and so is every mole on your body. No DIY or self-mole removal method is reliable, and some may cause permanent scarring. There is simply no “one-size-fits-all” solution for safe, effective mole removal. Dr. Nathan tailors treatment to each situation. Here are some of the mole removal techniques he utilizes.
The Nathan Clinic is equipped with a state of the art laser suite. Laser mole removal can be a quick and virtually painless option (with no bleeding) for a small, flat mole that is brown or black in color and clearly a common variety. Laser removal can be a good choice for a mole in a hard to treat area, such as on the ear. This method is not indicated, however, for larger or protruding moles, or those with suspicious characteristics. Why? Because focused light energy from the laser vaporizes tissues that need to be biopsied for a determination of skin cancer.
Cancerous moles are usually removed by excision, taking the lesion and a safety measure of surrounding healthy tissue. Because this results in a larger wound, the method of closure is critical to minimize scarring.
There are additional removal options for moles that are determined to be non-cancerous. With the surgical shave technique, an extremely sharp razor is used to reduce an elevated mole down to the surface of skin. The edge may be feathered into surrounding skin contours, using an electrode device. Dr. Nathan may recommend this method for facial mole removal, since properly-performed shave excision usually leaves only a faint pink mark, easily covered with makeup.
There are also nonsurgical mole removal possibilities such as cauterization (burning), electrodessication (electrical current), and cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen). Dr. Nathan will talk with you about the most appropriate choice for your situation.
About the procedure
There is little the patient needs to do to prepare for mole removal surgery. On the day of your procedure at The Nathan Clinic, the prep team cleanses and disinfects the treatment area. A numbing injection is administered so you remain comfortable. Dr. Nathan gently removes necessary tissue. A small site may be treated with antibiotic ointment and bandaged. A larger or deeper surgery may require dissolving internal stitches and surface closure. Dr. Nathan uses a fine suturing technique, ideal for cosmetic mole removal on the face or any other appearance-sensitive area. You receive aftercare instruction to promote prompt, uneventful healing. Most people return to work the next day.
A follow-up visit may be scheduled so Dr. Nathan can check on the progress of healing, or to discuss biopsy results.
Why choose a plastic surgeon for your procedure, when mole removal cost could be a little less performed by general practitioner? Because Dr. Nathan understands that a scar can be as emotionally troubling as a dark spot on your skin.