View Full Version : shave biopsy healing: Help, Belle2003?

04-17-2005, 09:35 AM
Hi, Belle, or anyone who has had a shave biopsy, really. :) But Belle seems to have the most similar situation to mine.

Belle, you said you had a mole with different shades of brown shaved off the chest area. How long ago was this? Is it still red?

Also, do you remember what the mole ended up being ('compound nevus, junctional, birthmark, whatever?) I was told pigment could grow back because mine was one that is usually deep. Were you told anything like that or do you think they got all of yours with the shave?

Mine was done about a couple of months ago (on the boob) and it is still reddish/dark pink in color.

I saw you say that the original mole wad dime sized and now the scar you have is nickel sized. Is that pretty normal? My redness overall is bigger than my original biopsy/mole size. But you can tell where the original mole was because that redness is a little darker than the surrounding reddish skin.

Did your wound ever scab or did it just heal without a scab?

Sorry for all the questions, but a million thanks!

04-18-2005, 03:37 PM
My shaved mole was around December of 2003. I was fortunate that at the time I was having MOHS done on my nose. They were concerned that the large, flat mole on my chest may be a melanoma. Thankfully it was not. My MOHS doctor removed this questionable mole at the same time he was doing the MOHS. Since I had to have reconstruction done on my nose, he also did a laser treatment on the scar on my chest. This treatment eliminated the redness of the scar. I still had a keloid as he had warned me that keloids usually form on the chest.

For the keloid he injected a small amount of cortisone, which flattened the keloid after a month.

The doctor did not tell me the medical term for the mole that was removed, just that is was not cancerous. It was not a birthmark, but a mole that slowly grew over the years. I know that they got all of it out.

When the mole was removed, I was instructed to put antibacterial cream for a week. It did form a scab and when it was healed it was really red. Without the laser treatment to eliminate the redness, I am sure that it would still be quite red. My scar is located very high on my chest and is visible above all my necklines, except for turtlenecks. I was never told that my mole was deep.

I know in time the redness of your scar will fade. You have to give it a year or two. If the redness bothers you, you can see if your dermatologist does laser treatment to get the redness out. This is costly, but if it bothers you this much, it may be worth it to you.

Once you have the laser treatment it is very red and bruised looking. This slowly fades and the scar ends up being the same color as the rest of your skin.

04-18-2005, 04:53 PM
Thanks so much for the reply, Belle. So, then, you had no stitches or anything when your mole was removed, right? Also, to clarify, is whatever spot you are left with larger than your original mole?

04-19-2005, 06:16 PM
I did not have stitches and my scar is larger than the mole that was removed. Since I have had the laser treatment to remove the redness and the injection to flatten the keloid, it is difficult to see where the scar is now. It virtually blends in with the rest of my skin.

04-22-2005, 06:13 AM
Heya, Belle. Sorry to bug you again, but how did you know that the whole mole was taken out? I was curious about thssi myself, but my doc can't confirm but implied that it wasn't taken all out.

04-22-2005, 10:40 AM
I'm not Belle but maybe I can answer your question...

...when the lab techs take a look at the skin/mole that is removed, they pay special attention to the edges, so that they can confirm 'enough' was shaved off so they see normal cells around the edge of the mole cells...

does this make sense? My shave biopsy did not remove all the melanoma cells from around the mole site, so that is why I had surgery in which they removed a lot more tissue (as well as sentinal lymph nodes) to be certain.

You mention your doctor implied that the entire mole/suspicious area was not completely removed with your shave biopsy...has your doc now recommended further surgery/additional tissue removal in that area?

Good luck!

04-22-2005, 02:11 PM
esstwobee, this mole came back as a congenital mole (birthmark).

So, no further exision was done. Do you know if further surgery to remove the entire mole is usually done for this type? It can't 'grow back' as anything malignant could it? The derms I've seen have all left it alone when I discussed it with them.

What did your 'bad' mole look like and what made you get it off?

04-22-2005, 02:49 PM
I regret to say that my experience is different than yours, and so I did not research nor do I know much about a 'birthmark' or congenital mole coming back after a shave biopsy. Though I will say that my dermo is on high alert for any moles that come back, and will treat them agressively. All I can suggest is that you do what I do...if you don't 'like' the answers you're getting from your GP, dermo or onc, then find another, an expert.

One thing I did do was visit an oncologist to get the 'worse case scenario' with melanoma, and went 'up' from there...he was very patient and explained everything (and I brought along a backup person with a list of questions in hand to cover if I got too upset and forgot something) and the possibilities. I also found 'the melanoma man' dermotologist in my area, and I put my trust into him, he has a lot of experience and is very compassionate and thorough, he monitors/checks my skin every six months.

My original mole was more like a 'gathering of freckles' for years, slowly and almost imperceptibly getting bigger, though it remaind innocuous looking until it reached the size of a nickle ? then it changed. Why I got it taken off is because even though a few people mentioned that I should have it looked at, one morning my puppy (he wasn't even a year old) bonked my mole with his nose and then tried to bite it off :eek: which sent me right to the dermo. They told me they caught it early, Stage II. It was the same color as a freckle or normal, flat skin moles, again, until the end when it became mottled in color. I knew that with my sun exposure and fair skin that this could be serious, however, I was such an optimist the fear and shock from the results just blocked my mind from hearing what the docs were telling me...I have been cancer free for two years now.

My suggestion is to search out the experts until you hear and understand what they are telling you about your specific situation, and then you must trust in their expertise. Not always easy. I certainly hope you get the answers you are searching for and peace of mind very soon indeed!

04-22-2005, 04:11 PM
Hi, esstwobee. Are moles that appear to be a 'gathering of freckles' typically normal? I have a couple like that.

A few questions:

Was your mole very raised? Do you remember what size it was originally before it grew to nickel size (nickel I guess is like one centimeter?)? And how long had you noticed it get larger (albeit, slowly) before you headed off to your derm?

Also, when you say mottled in color, what colors did the mole become? And lastly, out of pure curiosity, where was your mole located and how bad was your sun exposure?

*takes breath* lol

I am happy to hear you are 2 years cancer free. Best wishes to ya, hun, and thank you for your advice!

04-22-2005, 09:53 PM
let me see...

I haven't checked back on any threads to see if you've explained your situation in detail, and I know you sound concerned, so again I suggest that you find someone, a dermo you're comfortable with and have them look at the moles and areas that worry you.

I don't know if a 'gathering of freckles' is considered 'normal' or 'cancerous' and I suspect it depends on how many freckles you have in general, and what the particular 'gathering' looks like...this is again one of those 'check with the dermo' situations.

The mole (on my thigh) was not raised as it gathered itself over a couple of years ? until the last six months, and then it began to 'puff' up a bit, and the coloration began to change from the 'freckle' color to being different, it seemed both lighter in areas and darker in others...the growth was so slow I cannot honestly say what size it started out as, however, the year before the diagnosis I had a dermo check and asked specifically about that mole (which at the time had not gone through the changes just described) and I was told it was 'nothing to be concerned about' it even was given a specific name, and I was told since removing it would be considered a 'beauty procedure' and not a necessary one, that it would cost me hundreds out of pocket. I wasn't going to spend money on a vanity mole removal. And that dermo was very wrong. Your original question was 'how long' from noticing it slowly changing to when I had it removed, and so I would guess at least a couple of years.

In my youth I recall several (four or five) specific times where I was burned by the sun, three of those cases were what I would now consider extreme, and there were probably other times that weren't as extreme, however, could have been just as damaging. I also spent a short amount of time in a tanning bed, say a month here and a few months there, then I lived in Australia for seven years, though by that time I had a higher awareness and took more care when in the sun. I consider my exposure to the sun to be high, based on my memories.

I doubt very much my story will be of much assistance to you, however, I thank you for asking and wish you best of health!

04-29-2005, 03:47 PM

what did you lesion look like...why did the derm take it off? did he think it was melanoma or an atypical mole?

different colors? why was he suspicious of it?

pathology report say anything interesting?

04-30-2005, 01:08 PM
Heya, Mak. Are you paranoid over moles too?

Doc thought the mole was irregular looking. It sounded like Belle's, couple different browns in it.

Have you ever had any moles biopsied? Those path reports are so confusing.