Frequently Asked Questions
How does MoleMapping work?
When you arrive, you are greeted by our experienced and trained staff. We recognize that you are busy and every effort is made to be on time. High resolution digital images of your moles are taken in standardized poses. This requires removal of clothing. We do not do genital photography, however. If a genital mole is of concern, this is examined clinically by the dermatologist). We pay particular attention to moles that you are worried about (however, it is noteworthy that many of the concerning lesions that we identify may not be the same moles that are of concern to the patient).
Moles of the scalp are difficult to photograph because of hair, of course and a clinical examination is required for assessment this area of the body.
Do I need a referral?
Referrals from general practitioners are accepted but these are not necessary.
How long does the procedure take?
This depends on the number of moles that you have but start to finish is classically less than an hour of your time, unless there are a very large number of moles.
Who performs my MoleMap?
Nurses or other trained health professionals with experience in dermatology do the image capture. The mole map images are susbsequently assessed by dermatologist Dr Kenneth Alanen who has subspecialty interest and expertise in moles and melanoma. Dr Alanen's assessment is completed within one week of your visit. Your referring physician (if you have been referred) is informed of the results of the assessment and recommendations for subsequent surveillance intervals. You receive a copy of the results as well.
When do I get seen in follow-up?
This depends on your individual risk factors and the number and type of moles that you have. For most patients, it is is between six and twelve months.
Does it hurt?
No, it is not painful. It is a completely non-invasive procedure.
What if a concerning lesion is found?
You will be contacted and it will be recommended that a biopsy or removal of a suspicious lesion should be performed. If feasible, a biopsy or removal may be done on the same day. Please remember that not all suspicious lesions turn out to be melanoma. Concerning lesions identified during a molemap session are removed in Dr Alanen's dermatology clinic.
Will this always detect melanoma?
Every effort is made for early detection of melanoma. No technology or amount of medical training is 100% effective for early detection, but this approach (authentic formal dermatology training, significant clinical experience, cutting edge technology), represents the highest level of diagnostic expertise.
Is this covered by Alberta Health and Wellness ?
No. Unfortunately this is not an insured service. However, some health spending accounts can offset this expense, however. We can assist with your insurance reimbursement.