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Mole or Nevus Excision
What you need to know about mole excision:
Mole excision is a procedure done to remove a mole (nevus) from your skin. You may need a mole removed to check it for cancer or to decrease tenderness. You may also have a mole removed for cosmetic reasons.
What will happen during mole excision:
You may be given local anesthesia to numb your skin. With local anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing, but you should not feel any pain. Your healthcare provider may also use liquid nitrogen to freeze and numb your skin. He or she will cut and remove your mole. He or she will then close the incision with stitches. The mole may be sent to a lab for tests.
What will happen after mole excision:
You may have medicine put on your skin to prevent an infection. You may need to keep a bandage over your wound until it heals.
Risks of mole excision:
You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. You may have swelling and changes in the color of your skin where your mole was removed. Fluid may drain from your wound. A scar may form in the area where your mole was removed. Even after surgery, your mole may grow back.
Seek care immediately if:
- You have worsening redness, pain, or swelling at your wound site.
- You have pus in your wound.
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- Your mole grows back.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Topical antibiotics help prevent or treat a bacterial infection.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
- Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines you are using to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly. Do not use more than 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) total of acetaminophen in one day.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Ask your healthcare provider how to care for your wound and how long to keep the bandage on.
Prevent new moles:
- Reduce sun exposure. Wear protective clothing. Apply sunscreen before you go into the sun and at least every 2 hours while you are in the sun. Reapply after swimming or sweating. Limit the amount of time you spend in the sun. The ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun increases your risk for moles.
- Check your skin every month. Know what your birthmarks and moles look like. Watch for and tell your healthcare provider if you notice changes in color, size, or shape of your birthmarks or moles.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to return to have stitches removed, your wound checked, or more tests done. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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