Mole / Lesion Removal
Unsightly, disfiguring skin lesions can be disconcerting and often devastating to one’s self-image. Dr. Velargo is sensitive to this and is highly skilled in skin lesion removal surgery of the face and neck.
What can a skin lesion removal accomplish?
A skin lesion removal can treat:
- Skin cancer(s)
- Skin tumor(s)
- Seborrheic keratosis and other benign skin lesions
What happens during a skin lesion removal?
Skin lesion removal surgery is typically performed under local anesthesia in Dr. Velargo’s clinic procedure room. However, this surgery can be performed under a spectrum of anesthesia based on the patient’s health and comfort level.
Dr. Velargo will spend time with you in consultation to ensure that every effort is made to reach your goals in a realistic manner. Dr. Velargo will analyze your lesion and develop a unique plan for excision.
Dr. Velargo may recommend a shave excision of the lesion in certain circumstances. In this technique, Dr. Velargo utilizes loupe magnification to precisely remove the lesion. Aesthetic results with this technique are excellent as no cuts are made into deeper skin structures.
Some lesions, such as seborrheic keratoses or cholesterol granulomas, respond very well to chemical peels. Thus, a peeling solution may be applied in some cases as part of the excision process.
When surgically removing a skin lesion or blemish by simple excision, Dr. Velargo makes every effort to place the line of incision as nearly as possible in or parallel to one of the normal crease lines of the face. All incisions are closed in a meticulous manner with tiny sutures.
Excision of large unsightly skin lesions, birthmarks, or blemishes may require multiple operations over a period of time (e.g. serial excisions).
Occasionally, it is necessary to shift surrounding tissue to fill a defect with local flaps, or rarely, even resort to skin grafting.
After the excisional scars mature, skin resurfacing procedures such as dermabrasion or laser therapy may be indicated to smooth out scars that result from the excision itself.
What can I expect during recovery from a skin lesion removal?
Patients seeking skin lesion removal should be emotionally prepared to accept several facts:
- You will be exchanging a skin lesion for a more aesthetically appearing (often inconspicuous) scar
- The final appearance of your scar will not be evident for 6 to 18 months
- More than one procedure may be required to obtain optimal results
Some swelling and discoloration can be expected with any surgical procedure. It can be minimized by applying ice over the operated area during the first 48 hours.
In most situations, Dr. Velargo places a tape dressing over the suture line to help protect it. Do not disturb the tapes. They will be removed during your “one week” post-operative visit. If they start to peel, you may cut the edges, but do not pull them off. Often Dr. Velargo will re-tape the incision sites for an additional week after he removes your sutures to further support the new healing scar.
When no tape has been placed over the suture line, you should clean the shave site or incision line of any crusting with hydrogen peroxide and apply Bacitracin ointment 3-4 times per day. Special instructions will be given if peel solution is used for the lesion excision.
Dr. Velargo feels it is beneficial for you to tape the incision site at night or whenever you can for at least six months. He will provide you with a roll of brown paper tape. Pulling or exerting any tension on any scar seems to promote the formation of new unwanted scar tissue. Properly applied cross-taping will relieve some of the tendency for additional scar formation, so he recommends you do it as much as possible.
Does insurance cover skin lesion removals?
Most skin lesion removals are considered cosmetic procedures. Therefore, insurance companies do not generally cover the cost of surgery. However, in some cases, particularly for skin cancers or tumors, insurance companies will help defray some of the costs of surgery.
Contact the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery today to find out more about expert skin lesion removal surgery.