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Excision of Atypical Moles

Moles account for 20-30% of melanoma cases, the most aggressive form of skin cancer. Although the majority of moles are harmless, a small percentage may become cancerous. When there are signs of skin cancer in a mole, it is often recommended that it be removed through wide excision surgery. At MJR Dermatology, we perform excision of atypical moles at our medical center in Lawrenceville, GA.

What is an Atypical Mole?

Common moles are usually round or oval with symmetrical borders and even color tone. An atypical mole looks more like a blotch of colors, usually tans, browns and reddish hues, on your skin with no defined borders or symmetry. Atypical moles are not more prone to melanoma than common moles, but they can be an indication of higher risk. They are also hard to distinguish from melanoma.

Like all moles, atypical moles (also called dysplastic nevi) should be observed and checked for changes. If the size, color or borders begin to evolve, it can be a sign of melanoma. Excision of atypical moles may be recommended if cancer is suspected, either due to changes in the mole or in severely atypical mole formations.

Removing Atypical Moles

Elliptical excision is a common way that atypical moles are removed. This procedure is performed with a scalpel, removing the mole and a small amount of skin/tissue around the nevus. The incision is elliptical (oval or football) in shape, allowing more skin cells to be removed for examination, but creating a less visible scar. Once excision surgery is completed to remove the atypical mole, the skin can be stitched together in a small line for minimal scarring.

Once atypical moles or dysplastic nevi are removed, the tissue can be sent to a pathology laboratory for examination and testing. If skin cancer cells are present, they will be identified and the skin around the mole will be examined. For those with cancer cells in the marginal area around the mole, further excision or treatment may be needed.

People with five or more atypical moles tend to have a higher risk of contracting skin cancer. If you have atypical moles and may need one or more removed, come see our team at MJR Dermatology. Call our medical center in Lawrenceville, GA, to schedule an atypical mole consultation with Dr. Reschly, our highly skilled and board certified dermatologist.

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Matthew J. Reschly, M.D., PC


2000 Riverside Pkwy, Suite 100
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Located on the lower Courtyard Level

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(678) 535-0067

Afterhours Surgical Emergencies ONLY

(678) 535-0091

Hours of Operation

Monday – Thursday 8:30a – 4:30p
(closed 12-1p for lunch)
Friday 8:30a – 12p