Dr Andrew Smith is a GP specialising in Skin Surgery and works for the NHS in Bingley, West Yorkshire.
He is highly experienced in the use of medical grade lasers for mole removal and has worked at our Leeds-Bradford Clinic in Guiseley for six years.
We took some time with him to discuss the questions we are most frequently asked about about Laser Mole Removal.
How long does the procedure take?
From start to finish, a Laser Mole Removal appointment takes about 30 minutes. Mostly this involves discussion about the procedure and the aftercare. The actual laser treatment only takes approximately 5 minutes for each mole.
Does it hurt? Will the patient feel the laser?
The laser treatment itself isn’t at all painful. The local anaesthetic given prior to the procedure can sting a little, like any injection. But once it has started working, the patient will not feel the laser treatment when it begins. The Doctor will test that the area is numb before starting.
How does the laser remove the mole?
I have been filmed performing a Laser Mole Removal treatment, which is a good place to start for anybody wanting to know more about how the procedure works. You can see the video here…
How long does it take to heal?
The area heals like a graze so takes approximately 10-14 days to achieve a smooth pink mark. This colour then fades over the following few weeks.
What will it look like afterwards?
Immediately afterwards, the mole will be gone and a small red mark will be where the mole was before. This is covered up with some ointment and a small dressing which can be removed the next morning. The red mark then forms a scab over the following few days before dropping off to leave a smooth red piece of new skin.
When the can the patient return to work?
Patients can return to work straight away in most cases as the procedure is similar in nature to attending the Dentist. If the moles have been removed from a visible place then people could notice where they have been removed.
How long should a patient wait before they can wear make-up?
Patients wishing to apply make-up to the area can do so after the scab has dropped off and the area is smooth which is usually after 10-14 days.
Why would you recommend Laser Mole Removal over other forms of removal, like Surgical Removal?
Laser Mole Removal is much less ‘invasive’ than surgical excision as the skin is not broken or cut into so it is like having a graze rather than a wound from a cut. As the skin has not been broken it does not need to form a scar to heal up and this also means that the chances of infection are much less and the healing times are quicker.
Which type of moles can be treated with laser?
Some moles are less appropriate for removal by laser; for example flat moles or highly pigmented/dark moles. Moles which are raised from the skin surface are more likely to benefit from the treatment. If after examining the mole the doctor thinks that it would be safer to obtain a biopsy e.g. if the mole has recently changed in size or colour, we would advise the traditional surgical method of removal so that the sample can be sent away. Using a laser means that the mole is effectively ‘vaporised’ and there is nothing which remains to send for analysis.
Are the lasers safe?
Class 4 medical grade lasers are the most advanced technology available for the removal of skin cells. Small and powerful medical lasers have been widely used since the 1980’s following a long period of research and development. They are considered completely safe for use in a medical setting and are incredibly effective for the removal of moles and other skin lesions. The only main safety requirement is that the patient wears the goggles which we provide, to protect their eyes from the laser.
What is the Laser Mole Removal cost?
A single mole is £275 and further moles removed at the same appointment are £75 or less per additional mole. View the full price list by here.