Mole Removal Surgery




Moles are skin growths that range in color and size, and when they are located on your face, they are often unwanted. Thanks to advancements in modern medicine, we can quickly and painlessly remove moles. We use Mole Removal Surgery to remove moles, and we determine the method of removal according to the patient’s age and the location of the mole.

Not all bumps and spots are moles, so we encourage you to come in for an evaluation if you’ve got concerns. We understand the face is a sensitive area that is often changing in color and texture. Removing unwanted moles that are unattractive or distracting is an excellent way to boost your confidence and help you feel good about your appearance.


If you’ve got a mole that bothers you for cosmetic reasons or because it is raised and will catch on clothing, you may be an excellent candidate for Mole Removal Surgery. Would you please let us know if you’ve noticed that your mole has changed in size, shape, or color so we can eliminate potential cancer?


We begin by measuring and collecting images of the mole in question during a skin exam. Next, we sterilize the mole and surrounding skin before numbing the area. The method we use to remove the mole depends on the mole itself and the reasons for removal.


We use a scalpel to remove bumpy, dark, or potentially cancerous moles, and then we sew the skin back together. Dr. Tuggle uses a feathering technique to suture the wound and again a few months later to minimize scarring.


If you have a raised, light/flesh-colored mole, in our Mole Removal Surgery procedure we usually shave it off with a razor or scalpel and cover it with a bandage. No stitches are required for shave removals.


When removing flat moles, we typically use a cylindrical device resembling a cookie cutter that removes a round plug of tissue containing the mole. If the mold is more significant than 2mm, we suture the wound closed. Otherwise, we cover it with a bandage.


When a mole is cancerous, we perform Mohs Mole Removal Surgery in our office. The procedure begins with a biopsy and immediate diagnosis. We continue to remove skin until the margins are clear and no skin cancer remains.


A minor burn from the injection to numb the area is the only discomfort you should feel during your mole removal procedure.


The length of the procedure depends on the size of the mole and the technique we are using to remove it. Typically, a mole removal takes anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Mohs surgeries can take longer, depending on our findings.


Mole removal recovery requires no downtime. We cover the incision with a bandage, so you are free to return to your daily activities immediately. Be sure to take extra care not to bump or irritate the area as it heals, avoid showering the first 48 hours, keep exercise to a minimum, and protect the incision from the sun by keeping it covered.

See our FAQ below. Contact Us with any other questions.



You may notice some mild tenderness in the treated area for the first 1-4 days after your mole removal. This is normal and typically subsides as the skin begins to heal. It would be best if you planned to keep the treatment site clean and covered with a bandage for 1-2 days to protect the area.

  • Shaving at or near the site
  • Strenuous activity
  • Using any skin cleansers, peroxide or other irritants
  • Prolonged exposure to water
  • Medications that may cause bleeding

Patients don’t feel any pain during the mole removal surgery, thanks to modern anesthetics. Your doctor will administer local anesthetics to make the process pain-free. They may stitch the wound for large mole removal or moles present deep in the skin.

In general, expect a mole removal scar to take at least two to three weeks to heal. Some methods to reduce scarring should be started once the wound is healed. But initial care for the wound is essential for preventing infection and giving you the best chance at minimal scarring.

A removed mole will not grow back. After surgical excision, the tissue will be checked in the lab to ensure that the whole mole is permanently gone.

You should be able to return to work the day following your procedure unless your work puts a strain on the area stitched. Be sure and discuss your return to work with your surgeon. Depending on the stitched area, you will need to visit the Outpatient Department or practice nurse to remove your stitches.

You may take showers, but please do not take tub baths, go in hot tubs, or swim for 7 days after the procedure. If bleeding occurs, apply firm pressure for 2 minutes using a clean piece of gauze.

After cleansing, apply a coating of Vaseline® or Neosporin®. Keep ointment on the wound at all times until the wound is healed. Apply a bandage over the wound for the first five to seven days. Most wounds may be left uncovered after five to seven days.

We strongly advise you not to use mole removal creams. They don’t work, they can leave scars and pits, and you don’t know what kind of “natural” ingredients are in the cream since many of them are not FDA regulated.

You should never remove a mole at home on your own. A doctor might remove a skin mole by either shaving or surgical cutting. A dermatologist may shave off smaller moles but recommend cutting for larger or cancerous ones. Depending on the size of the removal area, you may need stitches.

Non-cancerous moles do not always have to be removed, but some people prefer to have their moles removed regardless of whether they are cancerous or could develop into cancer. Removing non-cancerous moles can sometimes be done by your primary care doctor.

Keeping the wound moist after mole removal is essential and may help it heal up to 50% faster. In general, the wound should be kept clean, bandaged, and hydrated with over-the-counter ointments, for example, petroleum jelly. A person should change the bandage once or twice a day.

A scab will form and fall off after 1-2 weeks, leaving a pink-brown area that fades over time. Sometimes a second treatment is required to eradicate the pigmentation, but the flattening of the mole is usually achieved after just one treatment.

If a mole is removed by cutting it off to level with the skin, some cells may remain below. These can act as a “seed” and cause it to regrow.

It is fine. It is advisable to eat before the surgery as you will only have a local anesthetic. After the procedure, you will be able to leave the premises on your own and drive a car.

Your best bet for keeping a mole-removal wound moisturized is a dab of simple white petroleum jelly. Even if the spot is on an area that you’d rather not bandage, keeping the wound covered with petroleum jelly helps accelerate healing and reduce the potential for scarring.

Home remedies, such as using nail clippers to cut off skin tags or lotions and pastes to remove moles, may cause bleeding, infection, and scarring. And your doctor must check moles before being removed. It’s much safer to have your doctor remove your moles and skin tags for you.




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Pre and Post-Operative Instructions

Would you please read these instructions before and after your surgery? Carefully following these guidelines will help you obtain the best possible result. Take this information with you on the day of surgery to begin following the instructions that day. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact our office. We want you to have a pleasant and enjoyable experience.

Preparing for Surgery

  • Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications), Vitamin E, herbal supplements, or medicines containing these compounds and alcohol for two weeks before surgery. Acetaminophen (Tylenol or generic equivalent) and a daily multivitamin are OK.
  • Refrain from smoking two weeks before and two weeks after surgery. Nicotine and tobacco smoke delay healing and can result in scarring.
  • Avoid sun damage two weeks before surgery. We recommend wearing an SPF 30 or higher.
  • Tour prescriptions for after surgery (typically an antibiotic and pain med) will be given to you the day of surgery.
  • Do not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight the night before your surgery.
  • Would you please arrange for someone to take you home from our surgery center? You will not be allowed to drive or leave alone. Arrange for someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery
  • Make arrangements to stay in the Albuquerque City area on the night of your surgery if you live more than an hour’s drive away.

On the day before Surgery

  • On the day before surgery, you will receive a phone call informing you of the exact time to report to our surgery center.

Day of Surgery

  • Do not eat or drink anything, including water, the morning of surgery. Essential meds may be taken with a sip of water 1 hour before the surgery appointment.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes. Short-Sleeved Shirt is required.
  • Leave all valuables at home; do not wear jewelry.
  • Do not wear any facial or eye make-up. Avoid nail polish.
  • You may wear glasses but do not wear contact lenses.
  • If you wear dentures, keep them in.
  • Bring your ID and insurance card with you.


Procedures can make you feel groggy for up to 48 hours after surgery. Grogginess can cause nausea and sometimes vomiting. Keep yourself hydrated with water, ginger ale, Gatorade, and electrolyte drinks. Eat a bland, soft diet (applesauce and broth, for starters).

  • After surgery, you will have some pain and discomfort due to the surgery, which is to be expected and should be controlled with pain medications (Tylenol or prescription pain medications only).
  • Escalating, severe pain is not typical and should be addressed immediately. Contact us or a medical professional promptly.
  • Swelling is common after facial surgery. Swelling usually peaks at day three and subsides afterward. It is not uncommon for some minor swelling to last 2-5 weeks after surgery. Each patient experiences a different healing process.
  • When resting, elevate your head above your heart to help decrease swelling for the first three days after surgery. A pillow or two is all that is needed. *Sleeping sitting up is not necessary.

Wound Care:

  • One of the critical things after buccal fat removal is to avoid “sharp, fine granular foods.” For example, couscous or rice would not be a good choice. Tortilla chips would also be a poor choice. In contrast, fine, soft foods such as a well-blended smoothie or mashed potatoes can be examples of good food choices.
  • Apply ice packs to the outside of your cheeks. Everyone will swell after a procedure, but patients who are most diligent in their icing the first 48 hours after a procedure will tend to be less swollen.
  • Use common sense, and if the skin is getting too cold, remove the compresses for approximately 20 minutes before resuming cooling. You only need to continue this process for waking hours.
  • After every meal, you will want will complete an oral swish with the prescribed mouthwash. For the first five days after surgery, dilute approx. One ounce of mouthwash into a cup of water. Swish this around your mouth after every meal, and spit out. The goal here is to prevent any fine food particles from getting stuck in the incisions inside the mouth (this could lead to infection).
  • After the 5th day, switch the mouth cleansing solution to lukewarm saltwater. Again, swish and spit after every meal and continue this until ten days post-procedure.

DON’T TAKE CHANCES! If you are concerned about anything you consider significant, call us at:
505-291-9600 Mon-Thurs 8-4, Fri 8-12.
Afterhours 505-857-3721



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Registered Nurse Practitioner Tonya Tuggle is Albuquerque’s choice for those who want to keep their youthful appearance and healthy glow. Tonya is passionate about educating patients on preventative skin care and providing non-surgical maintenance for graceful aging. We can’t wait to meet you!

Proudly Serving Albuquerque NM and the Surrounding Communities

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