Most of the population has moles, warts, pigmented spots and other lesions on their head, face and neck. Most of these growths are benign; however, some lesions may be pre malignant or malignant. Moles that change shape, texture, color or size should be examined and possibly removed for biopsy.
Every patient should examine their moles on a routine basis and seek immediate professional examination if they notice the following danger signs.
Follow the simple A,B,C,D’s of examination. They may be signs of malignant melanoma which is an extremely malignant and potentially fatal lesion.
A = Asymmetry (one half of the mole unlike the other half)
B = Border Irregular (border not round or distinct)
C = Color Varied (color or shade differences from one area to another, may be tan, brown, black, red or blue)
D = Diameter larger than a pencil eraser. (this general rule is used to estimate size)
The diagram on the right illustrates some of the differences between benign and malignant moles. If you are unsure, see a qualified professional. Click on the diagram to enlarge.
If you are unsure about a lesion or spot, please see us, your family doctor or dermatologist. Dr. Niamtu sees his dermatologist at least once a year for a thorough full body mole examination and recommends this for all patients.
Many patients have benign moles and lesions that they wish removed for cosmetic reasons. Most benign moles can be easily removed with little or no scarring. Dr. Niamtu recommends biopsy of any lesion that is pigmented or otherwise suspicious.
Besides melanoma, other types of cancers can look like common moles. Basal cell carcinoma is a cancerous mole that classically does not spread to distant parts of the body, but in some areas of the face can spread to deeper structures and require extremely disfiguring surgeries to remove. For this reasons any mole that has the appearance of basal cell carcinoma should be biopsied during removal. Moles that are basal cell carcinoma can have a pearly appearance and can also have spider veins associated with the mole. Although these characteristics can also be seen with benign moles, it raises the suspicion for malignancy and should be biopsied. The images below are basal cell carcinomas in patients I have treated that thought their moles were normal and unchanged.
The above images are basal cell carcinomas that resembled benign moles
Our office uses the newest technology in lasers and radiowave surgery for mole removal. Most benign moles and lesions can be removed without any incision or stitches. By eliminating incisions and sutures, the final scar is usually undetectable.
Although no surgeon can guarantee the lack of a scar, these methods, in our experience, leave a much less noticeable scar than other methods such as scalpel excision or liquid nitrogen. Freezing moles and lesions with liquid nitrogen can cause depressed white scars that are very unsightly.
The overuse of liquid nitrogen can result in unsightly scars. Dr. Niamtu utilizes radiowave technology to melt the moles and lesions with minimal tissue damage to the underlying skin to avoid this type of problem. Dr. Niamtu also uses various lasers to remove lesions as well.
Surgically excising (cutting with a scalpel and stitching) is also oftentimes use to treat benign moles but in some cases can leave unsightly scars like the patient shown below treated at another office. In this case, the scar was worse than the mole. This was later improved by Dr. Niamtu with CO2 laser resurfacing.
Depressed white scars and poor excision scars do not have to be a part of mole removal. A minimal or unrecognizable scar is possible with the new technology of radiowave technology.
Skin Cancer Self Exam
All people should be vigilant about any new or changing moles or lesions on their face, neck and body. Dr. Niamtu recommends that all patients see their dermatologist yearly for complete full body mole check.
Dr. Niamtu has published a 1,000 page comprehensive textbook on cosmetic facial surgery which includes a large chapter on his mole and lesion removal techniques. Few surgeons receive the honor to publish such a text with a major medical publisher like Elsevier.
Radiowave surgery is a new technology that utilizes actual radiowaves (similar to marine band radios) to melt away or cut tissue. This unique technology is extremely gentle to the tissues and causes much less damage than standard electrosurgery or other cutting or freezing techniques.
Dr. Niamtu is a clinical instructor for Ellman International, the inventor and leader of 4.0 Mhz Radiowave surgical technology and has published multiple scientific articles and textbook chapters on radiowave surgery.
Although there are many ways to remove moles and many surgeons that do it, Dr. Niamtu has an international reputation for benign mole removal with minimal scarring. It is not magic, but based on 30 years of experience with radiowave technology he has treated thousands of moles from all over the country and outside the USA as well.
Radiowave Mole Removal Procedure
With this simple technology it takes only seconds to remove moles and other lesions without cutting or stitches. If the lesion is suspicious Dr. Niamtu will biopsy the lesion before removal. For benign lesions, a numbing cream is applied and a small amount of local anesthesia is injected with a ultra small needle under the mole.
Using specialized radiowave instruments designed by Dr. Niamtu, the mole is melted away down to the normal tissue. This generally takes less than a minute. After removing the mole, a raw area the size of the mole is left.
The above image shows the radiowave device melting the mole.
The edges of the lesion are then blended for maximum cosmetic outcome
The surgical site is covered with an antibiotic ointment and will progress to smooth pink skin over the next 5-6 days. At this time the area can be covered with makeup if desired. The pink area will persist for several weeks (or longer in rare cases) and eventually fade to normal skin color. Patients are scheduled for follow up at 8 weeks and many times the patient or the surgeon cannot tell where the mole or lesion was. The healing from radiowave technology is exceptional.
Again, it is impossible for any surgeon to guarantee scar free surgery, but a scar free or minimal scar outcome is not unusual with radiowave technology. Patients with extremely deep lesions or those patients with pigmented skin are more at risk for minor scarring.
Great scars come from conservative and gentle surgery. Although most moles can be removed with a single treatment session, a small percentage may require an additional radiowave treatment to totally remove the mole.
While many patients have one or more moles removed at a session, Dr. Niamtu has removed up to 100 moles at one time.
This patient had 100 benign face and neck moles removed by Dr. Niamtu at a single session using Ellman 4.0 Mhz Radiowave technology. She is shown before, immediately after the procedure and 90 days later.
Some comments from our mole removal patients
Out of Town Patients
Dr. Niamtu frequently sees out of town patients for mole removal. Our office is very experienced in scheduling out of town patients and can set up an evaluation and same day surgery for mole removal and other procedures.
The following email is from a doctor in Paris who traveled to Richmond for mole removal. It is our honor to treat patients that travel to see us.