After establishing that the lesion is benign, Dr. Giroux will define the best treatment program which might include some or all of the following: Shave or Excision technique of moles, excision of cysts, and electrodesiccation of skin tags. During mole, cyst or skin tag removal, topical and/or local anaesthetic is used so that your experience will be comfortable.
Although benign mole removal is a cosmetic procedure and not covered by OHIP, they do require a referral from a physician to make sure they are benign.
There are two options for mole removal. Moles can actually originate deep within the dermis. Because of this, the only way to fully remove it is to excise the area. Excision involves local anesthetic to numb the area. Once the numbing is in full effect, the Dr. will use a small scalpel to cut an eye shaped opening around the mole and remove the tissue within. A few sutures (stitches) are required to close the wound. There is very little post operative care. A small bandage or steri-strips may be applied by the nurse before you leave. The sutures are removed in a week or two in our office, or by your family physician. Sometimes the sutures dissolve and no removal is required, but you will be informed which ones you receive. There may be a scar somewhat bigger than the mole was, but everyone heals differently, and there is no way to guarantee if/how you will scar. There are topical creams and laser options to help improve scarred tissue if that occurs and you are concerned. Excision costs $250 for the first one, and $125 for each additional one done on the same day. This procedure is always done by a physician. Cysts are removed in a similar fashion. Laser treatments for scars start at $75, and creams start at $65.
Another option for mole removal is called a Shave. This involves local anesthetic as well. Once the numbing is in effect, the top of the mole is shaved with a blade to the level of the surrounding normal skin. If there is pigment in the mole, sometimes the mole is still visible as a flat brown spot. If there is no pigment in the mole, the area may appear pink for a while or leave a flat, but much less noticeable mark on the skin. Post surgical care consists of keeping the area moist with Vaseline or silicone gels (NOT polysporin), and a bandage if you choose. By keeping the area moist, it will heal much nicer, with less itching and irritation. There is a 10% chance the mole can regrow as there are still mole cells that are deep in the dermis (deeper layer of the skin). If this happens it can be shaved again or you can choose to have it excised. This procedure is often performed by one of Dr. Lyne Giroux's nurse technicians at the Sudbury Skin Clinique. Staff are extensively trained on site and have years of experience.
Skin Tag Removal
Skin tags can be annoying, but are benign and as such are not covered by ohip. Most tags can be removed by electrodessication.
Electrodessication (ED) ED is a small device with a low level electric current in it that gently burns the base of the skin tag off the surface of the skin, leaving a flat pink area that heals in a week or two, larger areas may require more time to heal. The patient is usually numbed with topical ointment or injection of lidocaine before treatment. It is beneficial to keep all areas treated covered with Vaseline to keep them moist and reduce itching. This procedure is generally done at the Sudbury Skin Clinique by Dr. Giroux's nurse technicians.