Moles, or nevi, are common skin growths that affect people of all ages and ethnicities. They can be found anywhere on the body and are usually not cause for alarm. However, many patients elect to have them removed for cosmetic reasons as they can sometimes be unsightly and affect one's self-esteem. At the Canadian Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Centre, we have decades of experience in performing minor surgical procedures, such as mole removal.
What are moles?
Moles are a common type of skin growth that appear as small, dark brown spots. They are simply clusters of pigmented cells and are usually harmless. They can be any number of colours and may grow on any part of your body.
Most moles are harmless and are not cause for concern. Some moles, however, may develop into cancerous lesions and therefore, it is a good idea to monitor them routinely for any significant changes in their appearance.
What causes moles?
Your skin contains pigment, or melanin, that gives your skin color. Melanin is produced by special cells known as melanocytes. While these unique cells typically create a smooth, even skin tone, sometimes they grow in small clusters and create a mole.
When should a mole be checked?
If you have any new or rapidly changing moles then it is important to get them checked by a doctor to ensure there are no signs of skin cancer. Things to look for are rapid changes in:
The earlier abnormal skin cell growth is detected, the more you can do to reduce any potentially dangerous health risks.
Even if they are harmless, some patients still elect to have them removed for cosmetic reasons. We understand that moles can sometimes be unsightly and may even diminish your self-esteem. Our dermatologists and plastic surgeons will work with you to make sure your mole removal process is as painless as possible and with even better outcomes.
Please note that a doctor's referral is required to book a consultation for a mole removal.
How do we treat moles?
One of our board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon will thoroughly examine your mole and plan the best approach to remove it with a least amount of scarring.
A local anesthetic will be injected into the procedure area to numb the area and make the process more comfortable and pain free.
Depending on the features of your mole, the mole is removed surgically by either excising or cutting out the mole and healthy tissue around the mole or it can also be done by shaving the mole, which means that only the mole is removed.
Your excised mole will be sent to the lab for biopsy.
Some points to remember
- Doctor's referral is required to book a consultation
- There is no downtime so you can get back to work or school in no time
Will there be any scarring?
Although every effort will be taken to minimize scarring, it is virtually impossible to remove a mole without leaving a scar. Your scar will appear pinkish-red at first and then gradually fade out over time and become a fine mark that will be hard to notice.
Minor Procedures - Frequently Asked Questions
Which minor procedures are covered under OHIP?
OHIP coverage status for a procedure is not determined by your family doctor or by the surgeons at the Canadian Plastic Surgery Centre. The Ministry of Health has determined a number of procedures to be OHIP covered while others are not. Examples of skin growths and conditions that are generally not covered under OHIP are:
- Skin Cysts
- Non-suspicious Moles
If you are ever in doubt or have specific questions, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to address your concerns in a timely manner.
Who will be performing the minor procedures?
All of our patients being treated for minor procedures are seen by one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. You will get their undivided attention from the initial consultation, physical examination, and the actual procedure itself, followed by follow-up appointments to make sure that everything goes smoothly and even better healing process.
Will my procedure be painful?
All minor procedures are preceded with administration of local anesthetic. This is to ensure that the treatment area will be numb throughout the procedure and minimize any possible pain and discomfort.
Will I get a scar?
It is impossible to escape a scar after an incision is made on your skin. However, with experience and advanced surgical techniques, scarring can be minimized. Our board-certified plastic surgeons have years of experience and the technical expertise to remove your skin growths and lesions while placing strong emphasis on minimizing post-operative scarring.
When can I return to work?
This is a very good question that is difficult to answer as everyone's jobs are very different. The main goal is to minimize the physical strain and tension placed on the treatment area following your procedure. This is done to maintain the integrity of the stitches and minimize potential risk of infections and poor scarring. Our plastic surgeons will give you detailed guidance on your appropriate post-operative course.
How long will my procedure take?
This will depend on the type of procedure being performed. You will get a chance to have all your questions addressed during your private consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. If you simply forgot to ask, then please call our clinic and one of our staff will be more than happy to assist you.