Mole removal occurs it two ways, either a shave excision, which is very quick, or formal ellipse excision, which takes a little longer. Shave excision is a technique that involves putting a small amount of local anaesthetic under the mole and then using either a straight or curved blade, which is passed through the skin directly under the mole, resulting in the mole being removed with a narrow margin of normal tissue under and around it. Occasionally, if the mole is being removed for benign reasons (for example, it is raised and gets in the way of shaving and repeatedly traumatised) the doctor may remove the raised part of the mole and leave a small amount of mole tissue behind, in an effort to minimise any visible scar or depression left by the mole removal. This procedure normally takes between two minutes and 5 minutes to do, using low sting local anaesthetic, which has the dual advantages of hurting less and giving almost immediate numbing to superficial lesions like a mole. This type of mole removal can often be incorporated into a skin check or 15 minute procedure time.
Formal ellipse excision takes a little longer, because a larger area of skin needs to be numbed, and a formal excision setup needs to be done by the doctor or nurse. The mole needs to be removed as an ellipse of skin (boat shaped piece of skin removed) and the wound sutured, usually in two layers, closing both deep and superficial parts of the skin, minimising the risk of scar stretching and tram track marks being left behind from the sutures. A typical mole removal using this technique takes about fifteen minutes to perform when assisted by a nurse, or 25 minutes without the assistance of a nurse.
Is it a standard procedure time?
A shave excision can be done in a standard 15 minute appointment, however, an ellipse excision is usually booked into a 30 minute procedure appointment, so it depends on the technique that you have discussed with your doctor.
Melanoma Scan - Skin Cancer Clinic