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Mole Removal

Mole Removal and Birthmark Removal in Los Angeles


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.

Mole removal options in Los Angeles with Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian at Kare Plastic Surgery in Los Angeles. Excellent reviews and information about mole removal and plastic surgery in a premier medical office located in Santa Monica near the St. John's Hospital.


The decision to undergo mole removal for a cosmetic reasons should always include a discussion of risks involved with the procedure.  The most common risks include minor bleeding, irritation, infection, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, and the need for future corrective surgery.  The discussion should include options for surgical excision that will minimize the risk of visible scarring.  On the face, a plastic surgeon should discuss incision orientation that follows specific guidelines known as Langer's lines.  Discuss these issues with Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian prior to commencing with surgical removal of a mole.


Mole removal for potentially malignant lesions should focus on several factors, namely the importance of obtaining a tissue diagnosis, surgically removing the lesion and some surrounding normal tissue, and the overall cosmesis of the scar.  Your surgeon may prioritize one or all of these criteria depending on the severity of the risk for malignancy.  Clearly, if there is high suspicion for melanoma, the highest priority should be placed on obtaining a good tissue biopsy and curative resection of the lesion with clear margins.


Shave Excision of Moles:


There are many different techniques for mole removal in our Los Angeles plastic surgery office. The decision to undergo mole or birthmark removal using surgical or non-surgical techniques will be made during your initial plastic surgery consultation with Dr. Karamanoukian.  During this discussion, he will advise you on the various risks with each type of technique.  Typical treatments rely on laser, electrodessication, surgery, chemical ablation, and surgical excision. 


One of the more common types of mole removal techniques is known as shave excision, in which the top layer of a mole is meticulously removed in one 'slice' with a specialized surgical blade. In this procedure. a small amount of numbing medication is injected under the mole and the lesion is then shaved at its base.  Some of the biopsy edges may bleed for a few seconds, wherein Dr. Karamanoukian will lightly cauterize the bleeding points with a Hyfrecator. 


Schedule an appointment with Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian to discuss your birthmarks, moles, or skin spots.  Our office performs benign mole removal with a cosmetic mindset in order to minimize scars and improve results.  Dr. Karamanoukian is a double board certified plastic surgeon and an expert in the management of moles, benign skin lesions, birthmarks, and vascular malformations.


Skin Tag Removal in Los Angeles


Kare Plastic Surgery is a comprehensive plastic surgery and cosmetic dermatology clinic in Los Angeles specializing in facial cosmetic surgery, breast enhancement surgery, body contouring, and liposuction.  Our skin specialists will help you improve your skin, face, and body with the most state of the art treatments available in cosmetic surgery.  If you would like to learn more about our cosmetic dermatology services, please call our Los Angeles plastic surgery patient care coordinator at (310) 998-5533 to schedule a comprehensive consultation.  You may also visit to learn more about Kare Plastic Surgery in Santa Monica. 


Schedule an appointment for skin tag removal in Los Angeles by calling (310) 998-5533.  Our expert surgeon will discuss skin tag causes, treatment options, and recovery with you during your consultation.  You may schedule an appointment for skin tag treatment during your consultation. Skin tags are a common benign problem and can be solved within minutes.  


Skin tags are benign outgrowths of skin that commonly present on the neck, chest, armpits, and groin. They are not cancerous and are not contagious.  Skin tags usually arise from chronic trauma or skin to skin friction or contact.  In most cases, skin tags are asymptomatic, but some patients may develop secondary discomfort or inflammation of the skin tags. 


Skin Tag Removal FAQ - Los Angeles - Skin Tag Treatment 


What is a skin tag? The technical term for a skin tag is an acrochordon.  It is a benign (non-cancerous) outgrowth of skin that usually has a small caliber stalk at its base that provides blood supply to the rest of the skin tag.   



Where do most skin tags grow? Skin tags are most commonly found on areas of constant skin to skin friction.  The most common areas are the groin, inner thigh, and armpits.  On the neck, skin tags are found frequently and are often due to friction on the skin caused by a necklace. Skin tags are easily removed with a simple outpatient dermatology technique in our Los Angeles plastic surgery practice.  Once removed, there is a chance that you may develop skin tags in other areas in the future.  Skin tag treatment is not a cure for skin tags for the rest of your life, but rather, a treatment for existing skin tags on the face and body.  Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian can go over your options for skin tags once your consultation is complete and he has examined the area of concern.  Dr. Karamanoukian is a board certified plastic surgeon and an expert in facial cosmetic surgery, body contouring, and breast enhancement. 


Is skin tag removal painful?  It all depends on the amount of anesthetic used and the number of skin tags to be removed in one setting.  Patients who have several isolated skin tags can usually have them removed using local injections of lidocaine.  When patients come in with over fifty skin tags, it becomes difficult to inject each of these individually, so our office typically applies a strong topical numbing medication before removal.  Most skin tag removals are straightforward and painless.


Do I have to take any precautions before skin tag removal? Yes.  As in every other surgical procedure, caution should be taken to minimize blood thinning medications for at least two weeks prior to skin tag removal.  Further, it is important to keep the treated areas clean and free of sweat and pollutants.  Exercise should be limited for the first 48 hours after skin tag removal.



How long does skin tag removal take to perform?  Although an individual skin tag removal may take less than a minute, the whole procedure takes roughly 20 to 30 minutes to perform, including set up time, anesthesia, and discussion of the informed consent.


Surgery for Hemangiomas and Birthmarks


Surgery is an important part of hemangioma treatment.  In addition to lasers, observation, and TAC administration, surgery is important treatment and can provide immediate benefit for young patients who are symptomatic from hemangiomas.  


Surgical removal of a hemangioma can be performed in the proliferative phase of growth, plateau, or involutional stage of hemangioma growth and maturation.  The timing of hemangioma surgery depends on the size of the hemangioma, the rate of growth, and location of the hemangioma.  Hemangiomas that are symptomatic and that occur around the eyes, nose and oral airway are more likely to undergo aggressive treatment when compared to extremity hemangiomas.


The goal of hemangioma surgery is to minimize the long term adverse effects of hemangioma growth and involution.  The timing of surgery depends on various factors that can be discussed with Dr. Karamanoukian during your consultation.  Your child’s overall health, development, and stage of development influence decision-making for surgery.  If certain parameters are not met for surgery, Dr. Karamanoukian will recommend more conservative measures.  


Dr. Karamanoukian is a board certified plastic surgeon and expert on hemangioma treatment.  He is available for consultation and is well-equipped to perform both laser treatments and surgical treatments for hemangiomas.  The goal of surgery is to minimize risk to your child and to remove the lesion in its entirety, if at all possible.  If the hemangioma is large, a decision will be made to perform staged tissue expander or staged excision of the hemangioma, to minimize scarring.



Examples of hemangiomas that require immediate attention are hemangiomas that are impairing visual development; as in cases where every hemangioma is obstructing the visual field.  These hemangiomas may impair the ability of a young child to circuit between what his eyes see and what the brain administers.  If these hemangiomas are not corrected quickly, the patient may have lifelong visual impairment.  


Hemangiomas that are obstructing the nasal passage or oral airway are also worrisome and may require more immediate attention.  Surgery can be performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia or under complete anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the surgery.  In some cases, Dr. Karamanoukian will combine surgery with laser in order to minimize scarring and the decrease the necessity of surgical repair.  


The choice of incisions and a decision to perform surgery are based on meticulous decision-making to ensure that the patient’s long term risk of scarring is minimized.  The incisions for the surgical removal of hemangiomas on the face are placed in well-hidden creases that will not impair future childhood development.  


Laser treatment may also be used during the surgical procedure to minimize the risk of bleeding and to mitigate the amount of surgery to be performed.


In some cases hemangiomas can be surgically removed using a process known as tissue expansion.  In this technique, a small balloon is placed under the normal tissue adjacent to the hemangiomas to stretch out the skin.  This is done so that when the hemangioma is removed, there is an abundance of skin in the surrounding areas to cover the defect.  Tissue expansion is usually performed in sensitive anatomic areas to prevent retraction of the scar and scar contracture.  Insurance will usually cover tissue expansion surgery for facial reconstruction of hemangioma defects; as this is a genetic and congential deformity.


Medical insurance plans may vary from patient to patient and this may influence coverage.  Our office is available to assist you in determining the amount of coverage for these problems.


Dr. Karamanoukian also performs serial excision of hemangiomas to minimize scarring. During this procedure, the hemangioma is excised in two or three stages with small incisions placed within the hemangioma.  This minimizes the length of the overall scar and the long term complications associated with large scars on the face or extremity.


Hemangiomas on the extremities (such as the arm, leg and thigh) may also be treated with surgery.  These hemangiomas are often difficult because they cross joint creases and may be at risk for lifelong scar contracture.  Dr. Karamanoukian employs several scar revision and scar minimizing techniques including Y-plasty, V-Y plasty ands V-plasty to minimize complications across joint.


Although parents are usually hesitant to have the child undergo surgery at such a young age, it is completely within reason to consider this valuable plastic surgery option for hemangioma removal.  


A discussion should be made with a board certified plastic surgeon who is familiar with hemangioma excision and who has familiarity with known surgical treatment for hemangiomas, including laser treatment, TAC treatment and observation alone.  


Dr. Karamanoukian has the latest laser machines for hemangioma removal and port wine stain removal and is considered an expert for vascular birthmark removal in the Los Angles area.  His unique protocols employ meticulous surgical technique and conscientious use of nonsurgical and surgical modalities to improve hemangioma treatment.  He is on staff at Saint John’s Hospital in Santa Monica and is on clinical faculty at UC Irvine Hospital in Orange County.  He is the author of several texts in surgery and has published numerous scientific studies in major national and international publications.


Above all, Dr. Karamanoukian is a father and understands the unique aspects of pediatric care of hemangiomas and vascular birthmarks.  His honest, direct, and objective approach to patients allows him to manage hemangiomas in an ethical fashion.


To schedule an appointment with Dr. Karamanoukian, call our office to schedule an appointment.


Of note, we accept referrals from pediatricians in the Santa Monica and Los Angeles areas and we would be happy to discuss these issues personally directly with your pediatrician.



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