Shave Biopsy

Shave Biopsy

A shave biopsy is used to remove and obtain more information about abnormal moles or lesions. This simple procedure is an effective option for testing the skin and treating it without the need for major surgery. Here at Sagebrush Dermatology, we can provide this service if an examination reveals that a mole may be cancerous. This procedure is less intensive than a full excision and causes less scarring.


Dermatologist inspecting a patient's back

What Is a Shave Biopsy?

Shave excision is a routine operation used to remove growths like moles, lesions, and tumors. The main tool used in this procedure is a sharp razor. The process is simple, involving a series of horizontal cuts to remove the growth. Once it’s removed, the sample is sent to a lab where it is tested for cancer.

What Is Shave Biopsy Like?

This process follows a series of steps:

  1. An anesthetic is injected, causing the growth to rise upward, making it easier to remove.
  2. The growth is cut off by making a horizontal cut with a flat razor.
  3. Electrosurgical feathering is done using an electrocautery or hyfrecatorto shape the edges of the wound. This helps to reduce scarring.
  4. Aluminum chloride hexahydrate is sometimes applied to stop bleeding.
  5. The surgical site is cleaned, and a soothing antibiotic ointment is applied.
  6. Finally, the wound is covered with a sterile bandage.

After the procedure, we send the removed tissue to a dermatopathology laboratory for histological testing. This will allow us to identify the presence of cancer.

When Is This Procedure Necessary?

Lesions and moles are often benign. However, if your skin growth appears unusually shaped, a visual examination by a doctor is necessary to rule out cancer. When this is not enough, a shave excision procedure may be the next step. This service is less invasive than a full-thickness skin excision and requires less downtime.

Schedule a Shave Biopsy in Mesa, Arizona

The appearance of an unusual growth requires an examination by an expert medical team. Our staff here at Sagebrush Dermatology can provide you with excision, diagnostic services, and ongoing support. Get started by filling out the form below or calling 480-681-DERM (3376).