Moles, lumps and skin tags are extremely common and usually unattractive, especially when present on visible areas of the body and face. If also prominent on areas where they rub against clothing, these lesions can result in additional discomfort.

Thankfully, mole/lump and skin tag removal involves a simple procedure that can be carried out efficiently and safely under local anaesthesia.

Depending on the location, size, and depth of the mole, one of several techniques may be used:

  • Skin Excision (with or without stitches)
  • Cosmetic Radiofrequency Surgery
  • CO2 Laser

Procedure Walk-Through

1. Preparation:
There is very little a patient needs to do in preparation, although Dr. Lew may recommend that you cease taking blood-thinning medications (such as aspirin) for a short period of time before the procedure. If you smoke, you should consider quitting for a minimum two weeks before and after the procedure, as smoking can delay healing and exacerbate scarring.

2. Anesthesia:
A local anesthetic is sufficient for mole removal. It usually consists of a lidocaine (a numbing agent) injection near the mole or topical numbing cream.

3. Depending on the size and depth of the mole, Dr. Lew may utilize one of several methods:
A) Skin Excision
In this method, a small scalpel is used to remove the raised portion of a mole, leaving it flush with or slightly below the surrounding skin. Stitches may be used.The wound is then covered with an antibiotic ointment and bandaged.

B) Cosmetic RF Surgery
Also known as cauterization. It is executed using a very fine instrument and is often used during surgeries to control bleeding from small blood vessels. During mole/lump removal, cauterization can be used to remove the mole/lump itself, as well as to control bleeding when other mole removal methods are employed.

C) CO2 Laser
Using the latest SMARTXIDE2 DOT CO2 laser machine, moles/lumps are precisely removed with minimal scarring and downtime. Scabs form and fall about 5-7 days after the procedure, leaving normal pinkish skin. Regularly sunblock application of minimal SPF30 is advised after wound healing and as directed.

Recovery time is usually short, but will vary depending on the size and depth of the removal. Patients should keep the wound covered in antibiotic ointment and bandaged until instructed otherwise. If stitches are used, they are removed the following week after the procedure.

In RF surgery and CO2 laser, scabs form and fall over the operated sites within 5-7 days after the procedure. Patients are advised strongly to apply sunblock of SPF30 regularly to prevent risk of scarring.

Mole and lump removal is a minimally-invasive procedure, and thus there are minimal risks and side effects. As with all surgeries, infection is a possibility but can be minimized by carefully following instructions post-operatively. Scarring is the most common side effect, as such, patients are strongly advised to apply sunblock of SPF30 regularly once advised.

While mole and lump removal is intended to be a permanent procedure, there is still a risk of recurrence. It is thus important to receive regular check ups to monitor the operated sites as advised.