Mole removal – shave, radiosrugery and laser in London

Mole removal at Belgravia Dermatology

When seeking mole removal in London, you can be sure that our expert doctors will be able to provide you with sound advice and exemplary surgical skills using the latest equipment and lasers.  With prices from £450, mole can be carried in one visit for extra convenience.

How is a mole removed?

We offer all the possible methods of mole removal so that you can have the treatment that’s right for you. We specialise in cosmetic mole removal – that is removing a mole with the best possible cosmetic results. Mole removal is undertaken by our experienced doctors only. This section applies only to moles which are raised. This information is not applicable to flat moles, or to other raised lesions such as warts or skin tags.

The methods of mole removal which we offer in London, for raised moles, are:

  • Shave excision
  • Excision with stitches
  • Radiofrequency mole removal
  • Laser mole removal – we offer both CO2 and Erbium-YAG laser mole removal

We are among only a few clinics in London to specialise in mole removal, and offer all methods of mole removal.

Mole assessment

Mole removal begins by assessment of the mole by our Doctors. The NICE Guidelines for Mole assessment recommend moles are checked with a Dermatoscope. This is a special lens with polarised light that shows the pigment under the skin. It can help establish whether a mole is benign or not. Your Dermatologist will assess the mole and tell you if the mole appears benign or not.

Local anaesthetic makes mole removal painless

Local anaesthetic numbs the skin for all mole removal procedure. This makes mole removal painless. Fine injections are placed in the skin around the mole. This part stings for about 15 seconds.  Once the skin is numb, the rest of the procedure is painless.

What is a shave excision of a mole?

Shave excision of a mole is surgical procedure in which the raised part of a mole is shaved off. A special dermablade is used to remove the raised part of the mole. The edges are contoured off with a  curette. A hyfrecator seals the tiny blood vessels. An area that looks like a graze results. This forms a scab and heals over the next 7 to 10 days.

What is radiofrequency (radiosurgery) mole removal?

Surgery using radiofrequency energy is often called Radiosurgery. The raised part of a mole is removed using a special radiofrequency loop tip or probe. The raised mole is taken down layer by layer by radiosurgery. The radiosurgery allows very accurate cutting. The skin is contoured until the correct level of smoothness is reached.

Radiofrequency energy is at 4 Megahertz and cauterises and cuts at the same time. As it is very precise, the energy does not spread more than 20 thousandths of a millimeter from the tip. This helps to keep scarring to a minimum.

What is laser mole removal?

Lasers are beams of concentrated light. The laser vaporises a mole, layer by layer. We offer the Erbium:YAG laser for mole removal, as it is very precise allowing thin layers of the mole to be removed. The Erbium YAG laser also does not generate very much heat. This means there is less heat spreading to the tissues around the mole. This results in less scarring and faster healing times.

What is elliptical excision with stitches of a mole?

When a mole needs testing down the microscope, then it is removed as an ellipse and stitched together. This leave a straight line stitched scar that is 4 times as long as the diameter of the mole.

Mole removal summary

  • How – Laser, radiosurgery or shave excision
  • Areas – Raised moles on any area on the face and body can be treated
  • Time taken – 30 minutes, same day treatment available
  • Price – from £300 (plus a cosmetic mole removal consultation for £150)

Which types of moles can be removed?

Cosmetic mole removal is most successful for raised moles which are skin coloured. Raised moles which are pigmented can also be treated with the same methods though the chances of residual pigmentation is higher. Very densely pigmented moles which are hairy are sometimes better removed by ellipitical excision with stitches. Flat moles are only removed if there is suspicion they are cancerous.

Why have a mole removed ?

The most common reasons that someone may choose to have a mole removed are:

  • They do not like the look of the mole
  • The mole has grown and is drawing unwanted attention
  • The mole catches  on clothes, during exercise, while brushing hair or when shaving
  • The mole may bleed in the above instances
  • The mole has thick hairs growing from it
  • The mole is in an awkward or sensitive area
  • The mole keeps getting inflamed

One of our mole removal patients said:

“I want a mole on my face removed as it makes me feel very self conscious. People stare at the mole and this makes me even more paranoid about it. It has grown steadily over the years.”

Your doctor may also recommend that you have a mole removed. This is usually because your doctor requires histological analysis on the mole. This is when the mole is checked under the microscope to find out if there are any abnormal cells. This may be because the mole has:

  • Changed in size, shape or colour
  • It appears different to your other moles
  • It is new
  • There is a concern about the mole becoming malignant

One way to find out if your moles need removing for histological analysis is by having a full body skin check with us. One of our specialist dermatologists will check your skin from head to toe. This will identify moles that may be a problem now or become a problem in the future.

How do I know which method of mole removal is best for me?

Our expert doctors will be able to advise you which method of mole removal might be most suitable at consultation. In common with all three methods of superficial mole removal, all methods rely on removing tissue that is above the level of the skin, contouring the skin and controlling any bleeding.

How long does mole removal take?

Mole removal usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes. You can return to your usual activities straight after the procedure.

What is the recovery and aftercare after a mole removal?

You will usually leave the clinic with either a small plaster over the mole removal. A dressing may is not used for many facial moles, where a small amount of Vaseline is applied. A small scab will form and you are asked to either change the plaster regularly or apply Vaseline four times a day. You can cleanse the area with water and Cetaphil Lotion.

The scab will separate by itself in 10 to 12 days. It can take longer to heal for larger wounds. It is important to avoid picking the scab and let it separate naturally. You can get back to your usual activities immediately. We ask you to avoid the following for 10 days to get the best results:

  • Swimming and other water sports
  • Exercise where you may sweat or rub against the scab
  • Saunas and steam rooms
  • You can shower and return to work the same day.

Is mole removal safe?

Mole removal is a surgical procedure, and while the vast majority of procedures heal without any untoward consequence, it is is important to be aware of the risks. These are listed below with a rough guide as to the frequency:

  • Bleeding <5%– Just like any other graze, bleeding may occur. Applying 20 minutes of pressure will control bleeding.
  • Infection <5% – this is not very common
  • Discomfort 25%- there can be slight discomfort after the anaesthetic wears off which can be treated with any usual pain killer
  • Redness 25%– the treated area can be red for one or two months. The redness gradually subsides to give way to the skin tones.
  • Recurrence of the mole or pigmentation from the mole – In 5% of cases moles can come back, in which case the procedure can be repeated. This has nothing to do with the treatment, just the tendency for some moles to return.
  • There can be loss of pigmentation and whitening – 30%. This is more noticeable in darker skin types and areas away from the face.
  • Sometimes there is a gain in pigmentation and darkening 5 to 10%. This may be a temporary reaction to having surgery or the mole coming back.
  • The hair in the mole may persist

Does mole removal cause a scar?

All the methods of mole removal described can cause a scar – as it is impossible to cut into skin and not create a scar. Quite often the scar is not visible at conversational distances. The face heals with the least amount of scarring compared to other body sites. The final results of any surgical wound may take up to 1 year to transpire.

When a scar results, it is usually flat and pale. Scar tissue contracts inwards over time and a small depression can occur. This is even when the mole was removed flush to the skin. Some people are more prone to depressed scars because of the way they heal, than others. Moles which are raised and skin coloured often heal with the best results. Raised moles which are very pigmented may have pigmented reaching below the skin surface. If so the procedure may leave pigmentation.

Sometimes a raised scar can develop, especially if the person is prone to keloid scars.

The best results occur when the doctor removing the mole is skilled and experienced – no matter which technique is used. Cosmetic results are of paramount importance, and all our Doctors are highly skilled mole removal with the best possible cosmetic results.

Mole removal is a safe and popular procedure. An expert doctor can advise if a mole needs histological testing in which case a shave excision or an ellipse with stitches will be required. As our doctors specialise in cosmetic procedures, you can be assured that the best possible aesthetic results will be sought.

Do I need a referral?

A referral is not required for mole removal.

What are the results of mole removal like?

The most common results are that there is no visible scar or there is a flat slightly paler scar. 98% of people having mole removal are very satisfied with the cosmetic results when this is carried out by an expert. The majority of patients feel that any scar that results looks far better than the mole that was removed.

Can mole removal be done on the same day?

Yes we are able to carry out mole removal on the same day in most instances. Please let us know at the time of booking.

Can a mole be removed under the NHS?

The NHS will always remove moles which may be showing signs of being or becoming malignant. The NHS does not remove harmless moles for cosmetic reasons. You should speak to your GP who will can tell you if the NHS covers mole removal in your area. The exact rules on mole removal vary from area to area.

Many people will pay for mole removal themselves in any case as they want to have a cosmetic mole removal expert treat them. They may also want to have laser or radiofrequency excision which is not offered by the NHS.

When is mole removal covered by insurance in London?

Insurance companies may cover mole removal if:

  • the mole is causing symptoms – for example it causes pain, or it bleeds
  • a mole needs removing so that it can be checked for abnormal cells

Insurance companies do not usually cover cosmetic mole removal. Insurance companies also do not cover laser mole removal. You should speak to your insurer about the exact rules in your policy. Rules vary quite a lot between policies.

Belgravia Dermatology are an accredited facility recognised by all the major UK insurers. We have carried out mole removal for patients insured with the companies below. As we have payment arrangements with them, we are able to bill these companies directly if you have cover. The insurance companies we work with for mole removal are:

  • BUPA
  • BUPA Global
  • AXA PPP
  • AXA PPP International
  • Cigna
  • Cigna Global
  • Vitality Health
  • and many other companies.

Many with overseas policies pay for mole removal themselves and can claim back the cost.

How much does mole removal cost?

  • Shave excision or radiosurgery first mole £450, additional moles £150 (including histology)
  • Erbium YAG Laser mole removal – £450 first mole, additional moles are £150
  • Elliptical excision – from £600 first mole, £200 for subsequent moles (including histology)
  • A procedure consultation for mole removal with a doctor is £150 and is required to proceed with mole removal.

As an example a visit for laser of a single mole will be £600 to include the consultation and the treatment. The treatment can be taken on another day to fit schedules.

Please note that radiosurgery, laser and elliptical excision are available at our City of London Clinic only. Shave excision is available at both sites.

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