How Much Does a Mole Removal Cost in Toronto?

Moles or nevi are dark spots, blemishes or skin growths that can appear on any part of the body. According to experts, most people have between 10 to 40 moles, although some individuals may have up to 100 or more. This can be influenced by factors such as genetics and sun exposure.

While some people might consider moles as beauty marks, others may find them unsightly or even uncomfortable.

If you are considering getting a mole removed in Toronto, one of the first questions that will come to your mind is how much it will cost. This can vary depending on various factors, including the type of procedure, location and complexity of the mole.

Types of Moles

There are several types of moles, such as:

  • Common Moles. Also known as acquired moles, these are the moles most people are familiar with. They usually appear during childhood or early adulthood, can be up to 5mm in size, and are typically a uniform color such as tan, brown or black.
  • Atypical Moles (Dysplastic Nevi). These moles are usually larger than common moles and have irregular shapes and borders. Their color is often unevenly distributed and can range from pink to dark brown. Atypical moles carry a higher risk of developing melanoma, a type of skin cancer.
  • Congenital Moles (Congenital Nevi). These moles are present at birth or appear within the first year of life. They vary greatly in size and can cover a large area. Larger congenital moles carry a higher risk of developing melanoma.
  • Halo Moles. Halo moles are common moles surrounded by a white or light ring. This ring is caused by the immune system attacking the mole.
  • Junctional Moles. These moles are typically flat and round with a smooth surface. They are usually brown or black and are found at the junction between the dermis and epidermis layers of the skin.
  • Compound Moles. Compound moles are slightly raised, tan/brown, and can contain hair. They involve both the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin.
  • Intradermal Moles. These moles are typically skin-colored or slightly darker and are raised above the skin surface. They only involve the dermis layer of the skin.
  • Blue Moles. Blue moles are slightly raised and, as the name suggests, have a blue color. They are caused by pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) located deep within the skin.

When Is It Necessary to Have Your Mole Removed?

  • Changes in the Mole. If your mole changes in shape, size or color, it's crucial to consider getting it removed. Changes could indicate that the mole is becoming cancerous or has already become so. Regular self-checks can help identify these changes early on.
  • New Moles After Age 20 or 30. Moles normally appear during childhood. If a new mole appears later in life, particularly after age 20 or 30, it could be a sign of an abnormality. Such moles should at least be examined by a skin doctor.
  • Unsightly or Uncomfortable Moles. If you have a mole that makes you feel less attractive or less confident, or if the mole is in a place where it rubs against clothing and causes discomfort, you might consider having it removed. However, it's important to note that the removal of this type of mole is typically considered a cosmetic procedure and may not be covered by insurance.
  • Abnormal Moles. If you or your doctor find an abnormal mole, it may need to be removed. Removing a suspicious mole and examining it for cancer cells is an important step in diagnosing skin cancer.
  • Personal Preference. Even non-cancerous or benign moles don't always have to be removed, some people prefer to have them removed regardless of whether they are cancerous or could become cancerous.

How Much Is Mole Removal in Toronto?

The average cost of a mole removal procedure in Toronto, Ontario, can vary significantly depending on the size and location of the mole. On average, it might cost you around $100 to $650 per mole. However, the actual cost may be lower or higher depending on individual circumstances. It is also important to note that this estimate does not include additional fees, such as consultation fees, medication costs or post-procedure care.

Make sure to contact your surgeon or skin doctor for a more accurate estimate.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Mole Removal

Location of the Clinic

The geographical location of the clinic can significantly impact the cost of mole removal. Clinics in urban areas or cosmopolitan cities often charge more than those in smaller towns or rural areas due to higher operational costs.

Size and Location of the Mole

Larger moles typically require more time and resources to remove, increasing the cost. Similarly, moles located in sensitive or difficult-to-reach areas may also increase the cost of removal.

Method of Removal

There are several methods for mole removal, including surgical excision, laser removal and cryotherapy (freezing). The cost can vary depending on the chosen method.

Number of Moles

If you're having multiple moles removed at the same time, this may increase the cost. However, some clinics may offer a discount for removing multiple moles in a single session.

Experience and Expertise of the Practitioner

Experienced practitioners often charge more for their services. However, their expertise can result in better outcomes and fewer complications.

Pathological Examination

If the mole is suspected to be cancerous, it may need to be sent to a lab for pathological examination. This can add to the overall cost.

Follow-Up Care

Any necessary follow-up visits or additional care needed after the procedure can also add to the overall cost. Patients are different, and some may require more follow-up care than others.

Does Insurance Cover Mole Removal in Toronto?

In Toronto, whether insurance covers mole removal depends on the reason for the procedure. The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) generally covers mole removal if it is deemed medically necessary, such as in cases where the mole is cancerous or suspected to be so.

However, OHIP does not cover mole removal for cosmetic reasons. Procedures performed solely for aesthetic reasons are typically considered unessential services by the Ministry of Health and are therefore not covered.

Private insurance coverage can vary greatly depending on the specific policy, but generally, lesion removals for cosmetic purposes are also not covered. As always, it's best to consult your healthcare provider and insurance company to understand what is and isn't covered under your plan.

How to Know if Your Mole Is Cancerous or Not

Knowing the appearance of a potentially cancerous mole can be crucial for early detection and treatment of skin cancer. Use the ABCDE rule and watch out for these things:

  • Asymmetry. Normal moles are generally symmetrical, meaning if you draw a line through the middle, both halves should look the same. A mole that is asymmetrical, or has two very different-looking halves, could be a sign of melanoma.
  • Border. The borders of a normal mole are usually smooth and even. Melanomas often have uneven borders that may be scalloped or notched.
  • Color. Healthy moles typically have a single shade of brown. A variety of colors in a mole, including shades of black, brown or tan, could indicate a problem. A mole with multiple colors or an uneven distribution of color can be a warning sign of melanoma.
  • Diameter. Melanomas are usually larger in diameter than a pencil eraser (about 6mm), but they may sometimes be smaller when first detected.
  • Evolving. Any change in size, shape, color, elevation or another trait, or a new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting, points to danger.

If a mole exhibits any of these characteristics, it's important to consult a healthcare provider as soon as possible for evaluation. It's also important to note that not all melanomas fit these rules, so regular skin checks by a healthcare provider are essential.

Professional Mole Removal and Surgery Options

When it comes to professional mole removal, there are several methods available. The choice of method depends on the size, location and type of mole, as well as whether the mole is suspected to be cancerous or not.

  • Surgical Excision. This is a common method used for removing moles, especially when there's a chance they might be cancerous. During this surgical procedure, your surgeon numbs the area and then uses a scalpel to cut the mole and a small margin of surrounding skin. Stitches are then applied to close the wound.
  • Shave Excision. This option is often used for smaller, non-cancerous moles that are above the surface of the skin. The area around the mole is numbed, and then the mole is shaved off with a sharp surgical blade. This method leaves a minimal scar and does not usually require stitches.
  • Laser Treatments. Laser or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) removal can be considered for very small, non-cancerous moles that are located near the surface of the skin. The laser emits light energy, which is absorbed by the mole causing it to break down. The process may need to be repeated over several sessions.
  • Freezing (Cryotherapy). Cryotherapy involves using liquid nitrogen to freeze off the mole. It's typically used for superficial, non-cancerous moles. The freezing process causes the mole to scab over and fall off after a few weeks.
  • Radiofrequency Surgery. This method uses radio waves to generate heat and remove the mole. It's less invasive than surgical excision and may result in less scarring.

Post-Care Tips After Mole Removal

While you can return to your daily activities immediately after mole removal, proper care can help ensure a smooth and successful healing process.

Here are some post-care tips:

  • Stitch Care. The stitches from a surgical mole excision are usually removed 1–2 weeks following the treatment. It's essential to avoid pulling or washing the stitches directly to prevent the risk of complications.
  • Wound Care. After removing your mole, your healthcare provider will apply petroleum jelly to the area and cover it with a bandage. You should keep the area covered for at least 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.
  • Cleaning. Gently wash the area with soap and water, making sure to clean around the wound site carefully. After the first 24 to 48 hours, wash around the wound with clean water 2 times a day. Avoid using hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing.
  • Avoid Scrubbing. Do not pick at, scrub, exfoliate or shave the area until fully healed. This helps prevent infection and aids in the healing process.
  • Pain Management. After the procedure, the area will remain numb for 2-3 hours. After this, the anesthetic will wear off and the wound will feel like a graze. You can take simple pain relievers can for pain relief.
  • Signs of Infection. Be aware of signs of infection, such as increased pain, swelling, redness or discharge. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Follow Your Doctor's Post-Surgery Instructions. Your doctor will provide specific instructions tailored to your recovery. It is essential to follow these instructions carefully to prevent complications and ensure proper healing.

Let Board-Certified Surgeons Handle Your Mole Removal Procedure to Avoid Risks

While mole removal procedures are typically safe, there are still risks involved. It's important to have your mole removed by a board-certified surgeon or dermatologist who has experience and specialized training in these procedures. This can minimize the risk of complications such as infection, scarring and recurrence of the mole.

The Minor Surgery Center (TMSC) specializes in minor surgeries involving the hand and skin, including mole removals. Our team of doctors is board-certified and has been performing this procedure for years, giving them the expertise and experience needed to ensure a safe and successful mole removal. They can also evaluate any suspicious moles and provide a biopsy if necessary.

Call us now to book an initial consultation!

April 3, 2024