Laser removal is one option for those who wish to get rid of a mole. This surgery is usually performed to remove small, flat moles that ave appeared relatively recently, or moles that are not easy to reach with a regular, excision surgery.
In this procedure, the laser beam is pointed at the mole and it heats up its cells. It absorbs the mole’s pigment and breaks it up. This surgery does not require stitches or suture.
Before the laser beam is pointed at the mole, the surrounding area will be numbed with the use of a local anesthetic. In some cases a general anesthesia can be used, but it has its risks and it is something to be discussed with the doctor.
While the anesthetic can prevent pain, it does not mean that the patient will not feel anything during the procedure. Most people who have had laser mole removal surgery testify that the feeling is similar to tingling or to that when an elastic band is snapped against the skin.
Soon after the procedure, the skin will become red and sore. The amount of pain and discomfort varies from the person to person. A scab usually forms at the site where the mole used to be and it falls off in a few days. During the period in which the wound will heal it is recommended to stay away from the sun because it may become irritated. Since it is difficult to avoid the sun altogether, it is advised that the exposure is as short as possible and that the skin is protected with both sun block and clothes.
In some cases, although they are fairly rare, the laser surgery of a mole can lead to an infection, which can easily be treated, usually with antibiotics. Some scarring is possible, but it is much less likely than with other methods of mole removal, such as excision. When the mole is cut out it almost always leaves a large and prominent scar, which is sometimes even more noticeable than the mole was.
Some discoloration of the skin is possible but it is usually temporary.
Laser mole removal is one of the most expensive ways to get rid of a mole, costing around $400 in the United States for one session, and usually it takes more than one to remove the mole completely. If the mole is removed for cosmetic reasons, the costs will probably not be covered in the health insurance policies, while for removals that are done for medical reasons there is a possibility that it will be covered.
Also, the cost of anesthetic is usually not included in the price so the persons who wish to have this laser surgery should inquire about its price as well.