Re: Help with clarifying pathology results please
Most dermatologist prefer a punch biopsy/removal to a shave, so what your mother is undergoing is a good idea. The reason? A punch is like a cookie cuter - it goes down a little deeper into the skin and removes more tissue. Depending on the size of the mole, there might be quite a bit of skin taken and a stitch or two may be required, along with some numbing, but it's not all that bad. A shave biopsy/removal is where the mole is shaved off, with sort of like a razor. (Best description I can think of) Because it doesn't go very deep, there is concern if there is anything there, the shave won't go deep enough to get rid if. Also, sometimes shaving can leave a bit of scarring, where punch w/stitching doesn't.
As far as treating a moderately atypical mole with a punch? I'd be fine with that. I've actually had quite a few done post-melanoma. You have to keep in mind that anything removed from the skin is taken to a lab for biopsy just to be sure. And normally, with a punch biopsy, because it goes so deep, IF there was a possibility for anything showing up, it's probably gone with the biopsy. And a moderatly atypical mole is not the same thing as cancer - it means that it might someday in the future maybe become cancer - maybe. I think your mom will do just fine!