If you find that you are worried about a strange looking mole on your skin, then a consultation with a skin cancer clinic is an important first step in understanding whether the abnormality needs further investigation.

If a doctor is concerned about the mole and believes that it might be cancerous then they will most likely advise for the mole to be removed

Mole removal is generally a simple procedure that usually lasts between a couple of minutes and an hour. Normally only local anaesthetic is required and the procedure involves  cutting the mole out .

The procedure is quick and painless, however, there are a couple of things that the patient can do to to ensure that it is a smooth and effective operation:

Eat and drink something before the appointment

Most mole removals will be done using local anaesthetic applied directly to the area of the mole, meaning that unless your doctor advises otherwise eating or drinking before the procedure should be okay.

Make a list of any medications: It is always a good idea to write down a list of medications that you are currently using to have on hand in case your doctor asks.

Prepare for what you need based on your mole’s location

Think about whether the location of your mole will require you to make any preparations such as mole’s on your thigh might make it difficult to sit down after being excised or a mole on the bottom of your foot might make it hard to drive yourself home.

Talk to your doctor about any changes

When attending the consultation or before the procedure make sure that you tell your doctor about any changes to your moles, even if there are not the ones that are scheduled to be removed.

Some important signs to look for are based on the ABCDE test including an asymmetrical shape, an irregular border, a mole made up of different colours, a diameter larger than the size of a pencil eraser or a mole that is evolving or changing in some way.

Jot down any questions you might have

Your appointment will most likely be fairly quick, so writing down a list of questions you might want to ask will help you ensure that you go home well informed. Some of the questions you might wish to ask your doctor are:

  • How long will operation last?
  • What is the recovery time?
  • Do you need stitches and when will you get them out?
  • How will you get the result?
  • What should you do if the mole is cancerous?

Aside from these simple preparations there is not much specifically that you should do as a patient before the procedure.

Most of it will be up to your doctor guiding you through your process, you being ready to answer any queries they might have and ensuring that they respond to your questions about the procedure and follow-up.