A number of skin cancer related procedures can be performed in our Day Surgery by Dr Le and our other doctors.
Skin cancer facts
- Skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers
- The majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun
- Our incidence of skin cancer is one of the highest in the world, two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK.
What is the process for skin cancer surgery?
Step 1 – Assessment
You will need to have a skin cancer check with Dr. Le or one of our other doctors. During this visit, if a skin cancer is identified, you will be advised if you need surgery or another method of treatment.
Step 2 – Surgery
There is no doubt that the mainstay of treating skin cancer is to surgically remove it. Our highly-trained doctors endeavour to achieve a good cosmetic result without compromising the tumour at hand. Most cases just require simple side to side closure with sutures. A margin of normal tissue is also removed to ensure all the cancer is removed.
Curettage and Cautery
This is performed for suitable small lesions – typically BCC and Bowens. First, they are shaved and curetted, then cauterized. They heal without sutures and the wound is kept moist with Vaseline. This is usually performed on non-cosmetic areas, typically a patient’s back.
Flaps and Grafts
In some cases, simple side to side closure is not possible either because of the size or anatomical position. In these cases, a flap or a graft repair is required to close.
Skin cancer surgery can be performed under sedation for your comfort. You can discuss this with the doctor.
Step 3 – Recovery
After skin cancer surgery, it is normal to have a small amount of swelling, bruising and discomfort. You will be given instructions on how to look after the wound.
Complications from skin cancer surgery are uncommon but can occur. These may include:
- Delayed or non-healing
Step 4 – Follow up
You will be reviewed by the doctor in 7-10 days after surgery for wound review and removal of sutures.
The doctor will discuss this with you at the initial consultation. An estimation of cost will be provided. If you have private health insurance, you can use your private health insurance for the surgery.
Bookings & info
Please contact our reception team on 02 4455 5422 for bookings and more information.
Look Good Feel Better program
Look Good Feel Better is a national program that helps people manage the appearance-related effects of cancer treatment. Workshops are run for men, women and teenagers. For more information, visit lgfb.org.au or call 1800 650 960.
Understanding Skin Cancer booklet
Download the Cancer Council’s ‘Understanding Skin Cancer’ booklet here for information on diagnosis, treatment, support, and more