While mole removal surgery is generally considered a safe and minor procedure, certain things can raise the risk for delayed healing or even complications. Taking certain medications or having various medical conditions can predispose you to postoperative problems, as can nutritional deficiencies and lifestyle choices. Here are four things that may lead to delayed healing after getting your mole removed:
Cigarette smoking not only constricts blood vessels, but it can also damage them. This can lead to circulation problems and delayed wound healing. Smoking can also raise the risk for infection, as the chemicals and toxins in cigarette smoke can contaminate your surgical site. If you develop increased pain, bleeding, drainage or fever, call your dermatologist. These signs and symptoms may indicate the presence of infection which may necessitate a course of oral antibiotics.
Quitting smoking, or at least cutting down for a week or so prior to your procedure, may help prevent the constriction of your blood vessels so that you can have optimal blood flow throughout your wound site. Drinking plenty of water can also help flush out cigarette smoke toxins from your body so that they are less likely to cause circulatory problems or infection.
Vitamin C Deficiency
Vitamin C is important for healthy cellular turnover, and those who are deficient may experience slow wound healing after mole removal. Vitamin C also helps keep your capillaries healthy so that they can effectively transport oxygen-rich blood to your surgical site, promoting circulation and healing.
Oranges and grapefruit are excellent sources of vitamin C, as are spinach and tomatoes. If you are sensitive to the acidity in vitamin C-rich foods, consider taking a supplement. Keep in mind, however, that vitamin C, or ascorbic acid supplements, can lead to stomach upset, abdominal cramping and diarrhea, even when taken in the recommended doses.
People with long-standing, or poorly managed diabetes can have circulation problems which may result in the development of skin ulcers. High concentrations of circulating glucose in surgical wounds can also lead to infections. If you are getting a mole removed, talk to the physician who is managing your diabetic care. You may need to have your anti-glycemic medications adjusted to compensate for the stress of the procedure.
Surgery, even minor surgical procedures such as the removal of moles or skin tags, can significantly raise cortisol and blood sugar levels. In addition to taking your medications, following your diabetic diet can also help promote healing after your procedure and reduce the risk for complications.
If you are at risk for heart attack, blood clots or stroke, your doctor may have prescribed anticoagulant therapy to reduce your risk. Anticoagulants include prescription warfarin and aspirin, and while they are effective at thinning your blood so that the risk for cardiovascular events is decreased, they can lead to abnormal bleeding after minor surgical procedures.
Your dermatologist, through a place like Desert Dermatology, needs to know that you are taking anticoagulant medications so that extra monitoring can be implemented both during and after your mole removal. Your doctor may recommend that you stop taking your anticoagulant a week or so prior to your surgery to help reduce the risk for abnormal bleeding. If your surgical site starts bleeding profusely when you get home, or if the bleeding doesn't stop after applying firm pressure to the area, seek emergency medical attention at the nearest hospital.
Talk to both your dermatologist and your primary care physician about the above conditions prior to your mole removal procedure. When you work with both of these health care professionals, you are less likely to experience complications after your surgical procedure.