Procedure

  • Cosmetic Procedures

    Cosmetic Procedures

    A focus on cosmetic procedures is used in all applications in the clinic.

  • Diathermy & Curettage

    Diathermy and Curettage is a treatment using a semi sharp instrument to scrape out the cancerous tumour and uses diathermy to destroy a further margin of surrounding tissue and stop bleeding.

  • Ellipse Excision

    Ellipse excision is the simplest and commonest form of surgical treatment and involves cutting out a boat shaped section of skin containing the cancer, and then using sutures to bring the edges together.

  • Flap Surgery

    Flap surgery is a plastic surgical technique which is used for treatment of skin cancers where a simple elipse would not suffice.

  • How do I reduce scaring from my recent skin cancer removal?

    The Melanoma Scan doctor and nurse will give you detailed instructions on how to care for your wound to reduce scarring. 

    Any procedure to remove a skin cancer will cause a scar and some people will scar more than others depending on their tendency towards keloid scarring and their skin type.  Scars tend to settle to a pale mark, either a oval area after curettage and cautery or as a line from excisional skin surgery.  If there is a lot of background sun damage, this pale area can become more prominent and noticeable.  Background sun damage can include solar keratosis, freckles, pigmentation, age spots and telangiectasias (dilated small vessels on the skin surface).  All of these lesions can be treated, either as individual lesions or as part of a field treatment such as efudix, PDT, lazer, IPL or skin peels. 

    All these treatments can help to improve the outcome after surgery by making the scars less noticeable.

    Alternatively, there may be an abnormal scar that forms after surgery, such as hypertrophic scarring or keloid scar.  Hypertrophic scarring is an abnormally thickened scar that does not extend beyond the initial injury, and keloid scarring is an abnormally thickened scar that extends beyond the original injury.  In some people keloid scars can occur after even minor injuries, such as a piercing or even a pimple that has been squeezed or traumatised (scratched), so its hardly surprising that keloid scars can form after skin cancer surgery.  Treatments include massage of the wound, taping with micropore or fixomul tape, silicone gels such as strataderm, and silicone taping. 

    If non surgical treatments fail to improve the scar then surgical treatments may be used such as steroid injections, shave excision and steroid injection, and re excision with or without steroid injection into the wound.

    Shave excisions

    With Shave excisions, the best results can be achieved using moist wound healing, using antibiotic ointments such as chloromycetin ointment or otocomb on high risk areas for infection, or using strataderm or stratamed silicone containing gels for areas at risk of keloid scarring.  For some areas simple moist wound dressings using Vaseline, antiseptic creams or pawpaw ointment may be a low cost and suitable alternative.  Your doctor will recommend the treatment that he believes is most suitable for your particular wound and situation.

    Ellipse excisions

    With ellipse excisions, taping is an important aspect of wound care to prevent a stretched up scar despite the support of the deep sutures. Equally important is abstaining where possible from exercise for up to 6 weeks following surgery.  That may not always be possible with people engaged in manual work, but often with care and getting assistance with lifting and carrying, stretching of the scar can be minimised.

    Keloid scarring is a feared outcome for all excisions, however is very uncommon outside of a small group of people who appear to be prone to them.  In this group, silicone gels are utilised and the wound is reviewed 3-4 weeks after surgery to see if there is any sign of keloid formation, which can often appear after apparently normal early healing as a raised red itchy and uncomfortable scar.  Occasionally steroid injections may be used to halt keloid formation or reduce an established keloid scar, but the results are not always satisfactory in this keloid prone group of patients.

    Melanoma Scan - Skin Cancer Clinic

    For further information, please feel free to Contact Us or follow the link to request an appointment by clicking Book Now.

     



  • How long do I need to keep my wound covered after surgery?

    There are a variety of wound care regimes used after surgery.  Some areas are difficult to cover, and may be left without a dressing and the wound covered with antibiotic ointment.  This may include scalps, eyelids and beard areas.  Most wounds benefit from being covered because it can keep the area clean and help wick away any blood or fluid leaking from the wound. Our routine wound dressing involves application of antibiotic ointment, kaltostat (a dressing that reduces bleeding), then a protective dressing.  This can be left intact until removal of suture time in 7 days if kept clean and dry.  An ice pack or pressure dressing may be applied if necessary to reduce bleeding risk and protect the area.

    Melanoma Scan - Skin Cancer Clinic

    For further information, please feel free to Contact Us or follow the link to request an appointment by clicking Book Now.

     

  • How long does it take to have a mole removed?

    Mole removal occurs it two ways, either a shave excision, which is very quick, or formal ellipse excision, which takes a little longer.  Shave excision is a technique that involves putting a small amount of local anaesthetic under the mole and then using either a straight or curved blade, which is passed through the skin directly under the mole, resulting in the mole being removed with a narrow margin of normal tissue under and around it.  Occasionally, if the mole is being removed for benign reasons (for example, it is raised and gets in the way of shaving and repeatedly traumatised) the doctor may remove the raised part of the mole and leave a small amount of mole tissue behind, in an effort to minimise any visible scar or depression left by the mole removal.  This procedure normally takes between two minutes and 5 minutes to do, using low sting local anaesthetic, which has the dual advantages of hurting less and giving almost immediate numbing to superficial lesions like a mole.  This type of mole removal can often be incorporated into a skin check or 15 minute procedure time.

    Formal ellipse excision takes a little longer, because a larger area of skin needs to be numbed, and a formal excision setup needs to be done by the doctor or nurse. The mole needs to be removed as an ellipse of skin (boat shaped piece of skin removed) and the wound sutured, usually in two layers, closing both deep and superficial parts of the skin, minimising the risk of scar stretching and tram track marks being left behind from the sutures.  A typical mole removal using this technique takes about fifteen minutes to perform when assisted by a nurse, or 25 minutes without the assistance of a nurse. 

    Is it a standard procedure time?

    A shave excision can be done in a standard 15 minute appointment, however, an ellipse excision is usually booked into a 30 minute procedure appointment, so it depends on the technique that you have discussed with your doctor.

    Melanoma Scan - Skin Cancer Clinic

    For further information, please feel free to Contact Us or follow the link to request an appointment by Book Now.

     

     

     

  • I have been diagnosed with skin cancer, what’s next?

    After a diagnosis of skin cancer the doctor will discuss treatment options, which may be as simple as a 5 minute procedure to perform curettage and cautery to the lesion, or a surgical procedure to formally excise the lesion with appropriate margins.  Most excisions are done as an elipse and suture ie the lesion is cut out as a boat shape of skin, and the edges brought together using a combination of deep dissolving and superficial sutures which are removed a week later.  Occasionally for more difficult or cosmetically sensitive areas, a flap or a graft may need to be used to maintain a normal appearance or function post skin cancer excision.  Sometimes radiotherapy or further testing may be needed for high risk lesions.

    Radiotherapy is often used where there is an inoperable lesion or where surgery is not practical such as peri- neural invasion of cancer. High risk cases of melanoma may warrant testing with CT scans, PET scans, or sentinel lymph node biopsy. 

    Your doctor will inform you about the nature of the cancer you have and if further testing and or treatment is necessary.

  • If I have a lot of moles, does my risk of melanoma increase?

    Large numbers of moles are associated with both a genetic predisposition to mole formation, and an increased sun exposure in childhood as a trigger for mole formation. 

    Moles in at risk individuals, tend to cluster in areas of previous sun exposure and sun damage, including areas that have been sunburnt in the past.  In this way, large numbers of moles can act as a marker for people at increased risk of both melanoma and non melanoma skin cancer (such as BCC and SCC). 

    If you have large numbers of moles, particularly if you have odd looking or asymmetric appearing moles, then a regular (at least annual) skin check with an experienced skin cancer doctor is recommended because you may be at higher risk of melanoma, particularly with advancing age, although melanoma can occur in any age group.

    Melanoma Scan - Skin Cancer Clinic

    For further information, please feel free to Contact Us or follow the link to request an appointment by clicking Book Now.

  • Mole Removal

    Mole Removal Brisbane

    Not all moles are dangerous but sometimes the location can be annoying causing irritation. At Melanoma Scan we perform cosmetic mole removal with simple in-house surgical procedures.

  • New Skin Cancer Clinic in Warner

    New Skin Cancer Clinic in Warner

    Our Warner clinic has now been trading for 12 months and we are very excited to be able to offer our patients requiring skin checks on the Northside of Brisbane more options for their skin checks, and skin cancer management.

  • Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

    Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

    Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a treatment based around the compound of two chemicals. Both chemicals specifically bind to premalignant or cancerous cells, and when activated by a bright light, form a reaction that kills the affected cells.

  • Signs of Skin Cancer

    Skin cancer checks are an essential part of life for all people living in Queensland, a state with one of the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. A skin check may be something you do if you notice a spot which is changing or growing, or just looks different from everything else on your body.  Or it could be something you do at regular intervals.  Skin checks are recommended for all adults living in Australia, as part of normal care with your general practitioner. 

    Signs of Skin Cancer

    Who should be checked?

    An annual skin check (or more frequent checks) is recommended for adults if:

    - you have a history of skin cancer or dysplastic naevus syndrome (abnormal mole)

    - you have an extensive history of sun exposure

    - you have a family history of skin cancer or dysplastic naevus syndrome (abnormal moles)

    - you have premalignant change on your skin (solar keratosis)

    - you have a large number of moles on your skin

    - your doctor has recommended a regular check

    Signs of Skin Cancer

    What to watch out for

    Skin cancers can be sometimes obvious but more often subtle changes in your skin.  Any change in your skin can alert you to the risk of skin cancer but in particular it is important to watch out for:

    - any change in a mole or pigmented spot on your skin

    - any new pigmented spot on your skin, particularly if it changes after you first notice it

    - any persisting itch or irritation in a mole or other spot on your skin

    - any persisting red scaley mark, particularly if it grows over time

    - any spot that bleeds easily, for instance, with towelling after bathing

    - any new lump that arises, particularly if it grows after you first notice it

    If you have noticed any of these changes on your skin you should present immediately to your general practitioner or skin cancer doctor for a check.

    Signs of Skin Cancer in Moles

     

    What can happen if I don't get a check?

    The most important factor in skin cancer care is the prompt recognition of a skin cancer and it's early and complete removal.  Melanoma in particular can be deadly if there is a delay in diagnosis.  The chance of a person dying from melanoma is most closely related to the thickness of the melanoma at the time of initial diagnosis and any evidence of early spread.  In most cases, with prompt recognition and treatment, the chance of dying from melanoma is rare (level 1 melanoma has a 5 year survival rate of >99%), however, in some cases the melanoma has already spread from the initial site where it arose, and in this situation treatment options can be limited. The chance of an individual patient dying from a melanoma has dropped in the last 10 years due to early recognition and treatment of this cancer, so don't delay if you believe you may have one.

    skin check

  • Skin Cancer Treatment

    Skin cancers can be treated using surgical and non surgical treatments.

    Surgical treatments used for treatment of skin cancers are physical treatments to remove the tumour.  Depending on the thickness of the lesion the treatment may be more or less invasive.  Thicker tumours are generally treated with excision and techniques include elipse (boat shaped excision), flaps and grafts. On occasion the wound may be left open for a period of time to await results of histopathology (as in the so called 'Slow Moh's'), but in most cases the wound is closed immediately following the removal of the tumour.  Surgical treatments also include diathermy and serial curettage.  This is usually used for superficial tumours on areas of the body where recurrence is less likely.  Both small and large tumours can be treated with this technique.

    Non surgical treatments are treatments using medications to attack and remove the tumour. They include Aldara (Imiquimod), Efudix, and Metvix PDT (Photodynamic therapy).  These treatments are generally used for lesions which are thin and on areas of the body where recurrence is less likely, although small superficial lesions on higher risk areas may be suitable for these treatments.

  • Surgical Procedures

    Surgical Procedures

    Unsightly lumps and bumps can affect your self confidence and can often be painful and annoying. At Melanoma Scan we can remove these lumps and bumps with simple procedures.

  • Wedge Excision

    Wedge excision is a technique used to remove cancers from the edge of the lip, ear or eyelid.