Moles and birthmarks can occur on any part of the body. The removal of a birthmark or mole can be performed for cosmetic reasons; or for medical reasons if a skin cancer is suspected. In other words, some moles are removed purely for cosmetic reasons because they interfere or obscure the normal anatomy of the face or body. Other moles are removed because a physician or patient feels that there is a chance that the mole can develop into a malignancy or is at high risk of being malignant at the time of excision.
Making A Diagnosis: Biopsy
Living in a beach community like Santa Monica can expose you to the harmful effects of UV sunlight. Moles can develop on the skin as a result of short-term exposure to the sun or long-term sun exposure from childhood.
Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian at Kare Plastic Surgery + Skin Health Center in Santa Monica specializes in minimally-invasive options for mole removal, especially if there is a risk of atypia or dysplasia.
If you have developed a mole that has changed in color or size, you may be a candidate for a mole check followed by surgical mole excision to determine if there is any potential risk of skin cancer. Mole biopsies can help diagnose cellular changes in the skin that may develop into skin cancer.
Dr. Karamanoukian is a specialist in surgical mole removal and utilizes plastic surgery techniques to minimize scarring. He performs excisional biopsies, incisional biopsies, and shave biopsies in order to retrieve specimens for pathologic examination under the microscope. He works closely with John Wayne Cancer Center and Dr. Roupen Yaghsezian, a respected dermatopathologist who specializes in melanoma and skin cancers.
Seeking the expertise of a plastic surgeon who specializes in skin cancers and minimal-scar biopsies can help you diagnose early-stage changes in abnormal moles and minimize surgical scarring.
Patients who have developed abnormal scars from a mole removal or shave biopsy can be treated with lasers to help reduce scarring. Daily application of Plato’s Scar Serum is recommended.
In our Santa Monica plastic surgery practice, we specialize in the removal of cysts from the skin. A cyst is a skin-lined sac that begins to grow underneath the skin, often as a result of a clogged pore or hair follicle. Among the most common types of cysts are pilar cysts which grow on the scalp and epidermal inclusion cysts which form on the face, back, or chest. Most cysts are non-cancerous and only become a problem when they start to irritate the skin or become inflamed.
The treatment of cysts always begins with a careful examination of the skin. Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian is a top plastic surgeon in Santa Monica and can treat your cyst with as little scarring as possible. Surgical cyst removal is an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia to remove the cyst in its entirety. Once a cyst is removed, the incision is suture-closed to minimize scarring.
Skin Tag Removal
Skin tags are very common benign flaps of skin that usually show up in areas of skin to skin contact, most notably the eyelids, neck, armpits, and groin. Treatments include RF ablation, laser therapy, cryotherapy, and surgical excision. Our preferred method of treatment is a relatively painless non-surgical approach using Hyfrecation.
Syringomas are benign sweat gland tumors that show up on the upper and lower eyelids. They are first noticeable as raised, white-colored skin growths that increase in number along the eyelid skin. With time, the syringomas may enlarge in size, coalesce, and increase in density.
Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian is an expert in syringoma treatment. He uses a protocol that includes fractional RF, Hyfrecation with electrodessication, and fractional skin resurfacing. Most patients also begin topical skin protocols that include Replenish cream and Melapads daily exfoliating pads.
Lipomas are benign tumors of fat that occur underneath the skin. Although there is a very miniscule risk of malignancy, the majority of lipomas are not associated with cancer and can be safely removed with surgery. The cause of lipoma growth is unknown, with medical experts attributing the growth of lipomas to genetics and soft tissue trauma.
During your consultation with Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian at Kare Plastic Surgery in Santa Monica, he will evaluate your lipoma to determine your candidacy for surgical removal. Clinical signs will point to the location of the lipoma underneath the skin and whether it is located within the subcutaneous fat or subfascial plane. Lipoma removal is relatively straightforward, twith a small risk of scarring from the incision site.
Xanthelesma are benign cholesterol deposits underneath the skin of the upper and lower eyelids. Treatments vary depending on skin type and the size of your xanthelesma. Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian specializes in non-surgical hyfrecation of these benign moles.