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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mole Removal

For those with morbid fascination of gross medical pictures, I got something different than the usual recipe/cat/food/emo posts. So here is the photo of the offending mole as promised, which gave me great worry over the past one week. There is such a thing called too much knowledge - and too much of any good thing is no good. The most concerned issue on top of the list was: "is this malignant melanoma?" So I decided to get it checked out.

Okay, so I know that I come from a moley family, and I myself have multiple moles scattered here and there but this is by far the largest I owned. Located on the right hand side my soft round belly, slightly above the umbilical line sits a raisin like protuberance which has been with me since childhood. I am pretty sure I was not born with it so it can't be a birthmark (checked my naked baby photos).

Isn't this the cutest thing ever?

Biopsy sample sent to path lab (marked Urgent).

99% of the time, moles are benign. But if the mole shows signs of ABCDE you should seek medical advice.
A- Asymmetry
B- Borders which are ill-circumscribed
C- Color of different shades
D- Diameter more than 6mm
E- Erosion, crusting, itching, ulceration and bleeding.

An elliptical incision is made to remove the mole, and to provide better apposition during wound closure. You will be injected with local anesthetic to numb the area. My procedure took a while longer than anticipated because it ran deeper than usual into the skin. Which got me agitated and thinking about worst-case scenarios.

It didn't help that there was a new albeit smaller mole adjacent to the mother of all moles. Knowing words like satellite lesions, metastases, dissemination etc does not help with peace of mind. Believe me when I say that I have read up on malignant melanoma of all sorts of research papers to learn more about it. You know, just in case.

When the results came back a week later, it was almost an anticlimax. Turned out that this fugly bugger was nothing but a simple mole called benign melanocytic nevus. So, life is back to normal. My concern is shifted to caring for the surgical site to ensure minimal scarring. I come from a family "gifted" with keloid scars. But that's another story for another day.

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