Mole Removal by Excision or Laser Removal

I have many people that come to me to inquire about mole removal.  There are many ways to do this. The most common ways are to excise (cut them out) or use the co2 laser to vaporize them. Which do you choose? That is a great question that many people ask me all the time. Both have some positives and negatives. With excision, you have to incise around and take out the mole.  With this approach you can take a margin of tissue and you can go deep enough so you know that it will not come back as readily.  You also have a little faster healing and less need to care for the wound.  The healing is a little more predictable.  The drawback with excision is that you need to take more tissue to make sure the closure is flat.  This usually requires a wedge of tissue that needs to be taken out.  This can make the excision and resulting scar a lot larger than the mole itself.  Also you need sutures and you need to take them out 6-7 days later.  With the co2 laser you can vaporize the mole and just a little around it.  You avoid the larger excision of tissue, or the need to take out more than just the mole. You avoid an incision and sutures.  But the area of that is vaporized will need to heal over and this can take up to a week or more with the wound being raw and oozing a bit.  You also need to care for the area that is vaporized with cleaning 2-4 times a day and constantly have vaseline over the area vaporized.  Also with the vaporization you have more of a potential for less of pigmentation that can be permanent.  Although if this happens you can always have the area excised to remove the pigmentation and this would be like what you would need if you were to excise it in the first place.  But you don’t always have hypopigmentation and thus could have everything work out perfectly with the co2 laser.  I think recurrence of the mole is more common with the co2 laser than when you excise it out. Here are some videos to explain this during a live demonstration.

Thanks for reading, Dr Young

Dr Young specializes in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and is located in Bellevue near Seattle, Washington

Comments are closed.