Skin Cancer surgery is not nearly as daunting as it sounds. In fact, if a skin cancer or pre-cancerous lesion is diagnosed early enough it may not even need surgery.

Many superficial skin cancers can be treated through non-surgical means. These can include freezing with liquid nitrogen, treating with a topical cream like Aldara or Effudix or using a light treatment called Photodynamic Therapy to eliminate the abnormal or cancerous cells. Surgery is usually the best way of treating those more invasive skin cancers to remove the whole lesion.

Surgery At The Austin Clinic

At the Austin Clinic we have a fully equipped surgery on site and several very qualified skin cancer surgeons. Skin cancer surgery is done under local anaesthetic and is a very quick procedure. Skin cancer surgery usually only takes 30 minutes per lesion, depending on the size and location. Occasionally we do refer off to plastic surgeons if the skin cancer is particularly invasive, in a tricky area or requires a skin flap or graft. This is not common and 95% of skin cancers diagnosed can be removed onsite very easily.

Booking For Skin Cancer Surgery

Firstly you will need a consultation with one of our skin cancer doctors to check if the lesion you suspect is a skin cancer. If you haven’t had a skin cancer check in a while we will recommend a full body check at the same time as some lesions that look harmless can actually be skin cancers in disguise.

If the doctor has not seen the lesion before we cannot guarantee we will be able to remove it on the day of your initial consultation as there are many ways to remove suspicious lesions and even if another doctor has referred you, our doctors need to see the lesion themselves, before they can remove it.

Depending on the size and location or your lesion, it may require more time than the doctor has on the day and a plan of removal will be made to give you the best possible recovery and cosmetic outcome. We will do our very best to remove the lesion for you as soon as possible, on the day of your consultation, if there is enough time.

Biopsy vs Surgery

If the doctor suspects skin cancer they will either suggest taking a biopsy (sample) of the lesion to check if it needs to be excised (cut out) or may just suggest excision if they are certain it is a skin cancer.

Our doctors are very experienced and very good at recognising skin cancers but a true diagnosis can never be fully confirmed until a sample is sent to pathology to be tested and observed under a microscope.

Pathology of Skin Lesions

At the Austin Clinic all biopsies and excisions are sent to pathology regardless of whether it is just a cosmetic mole that is being removed. This way we can always give you piece of mind that the lesion has been fully removed and determine exactly what it was. This also assists in determining your skin cancer risks. If you are diagnosed with multiple skin cancers or a melanoma your doctor will suggest coming back more regularly to get your skin checked.

FAQs

At the Austin Clinic all biopsies and excisions are sent to pathology regardless of whether it is just a cosmetic mole that is being removed. This way we can always give you piece of mind that the lesion has been fully removed and determine exactly what it was. This also assists in determining your skin cancer risks. If you are diagnosed with multiple skin cancers or a melanoma your doctor will suggest coming back more regularly to get your skin checked.

Q: Can my skin cancer be treated without surgery?

A: Some superficial skin cancers and pre-cancerous lesions can be treated with non-surgical means but the more invasive ones will require surgery. The earlier a skin cancer is diagnosed, the better your chance is of avoiding surgery.

 

Q: How much does skin cancer surgery cost?

A: The cost depends on the size, location and type of skin cancer we are removing. If a biopsy has not been done initially, often we will wait for pathology results before invoicing you. For most skin cancer surgery you are out of pocket between $200 and $450 per lesion. Larger or more invasive skin cancers may be more than this.

 

Q: Can I claim anything back from Medicare or my Private health fund?

A: There is no rebate available from your private health fund but all skin cancer surgery is rebateable through Medicare. The Austin Clinic is a private clinic so you will still be out of pocket for some of the invoice – please see the above question for a guide of costs after the Medicare rebate has been applied.

 

Q: I have more than one skin cancer that needs excising; can I have them done on the same day?

A: Yes you can. We can remove multiple skin cancers for you on the one day if you like but you will receive less rebate back from Medicare than if you do them on separate days.

 

Q: Once I have had a biopsy or excision sent to pathology, how long does it take to receive the results?

A: Usually we will have the results between 3 – 5 working days after the sample has been sent. If further treatment is required we will call you to schedule another appointment.

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Skin Cancer Surgery

Ask us a question or call us on 02 9948 1775

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5/67 Wanganella Street, Balgowlah NSW 2093

Our Affiliations

AMA, Skin Cancer College
ANZ Soc Phleb
SCPA, CPCA
The American Board of Laser Surgery
ACAM, ISAPS
International Dermoscopy Society

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