Skin Cancer Plastic Surgery

Skin Cancer and Melanoma Surgery

Skin Cancer Surgery, Treatment, and Post-care Support.

About Skin Cancer Surgery

Skin cancer plastic surgery involves specialised surgical techniques that precisely remove cancerous skin cells with a critical safety margin, and reconstruct the resulting defect in the skin with the aim of optimal aesthetic and functional outcomes.

Surgical skin cancer treatment involves making an incision around the cancerous or potentially cancerous cells and a vital ‘cuff’ of surrounding healthy skin (called the margin) to ensure all cancerous cells are removed.

Your plastic surgeon makes every effort to ensure your skin cancer is removed and that surrounding tissue is free from dangerous cells, as ‘narrow’ (minimal and inadequate) or incomplete safety margins are the main cause of cancer recurrence.

Also critical to the optimal treatment of the skin cancer is an evaluation by a trained pathologist, who independently verifies:

  • Cancer type
  • Cancer grade
  • Level of spread
  • Safety margins around the tumour

If the safety margins are inadequate, your plastic surgeon will recommend a further re-excision until cancer clearance is achieved.

Critically, all our surgeons at Brighton Plastic Surgery are highly trained in all the reconstructive surgery options, including complex and highly skilled reconstructive microsurgery operations.

Our surgeons will never compromise the completeness of the cancer excision due to apprehension about whether we will be able to fix the defect created afterwards. The resulting reconstruction will be aesthetic and functional.

Nevertheless, prevention is better than cure: it is so important to get to know your skin, ensuring any abnormalities, changes, or new spots are checked by a doctor.

Your GP or dermatologist can then refer you to a plastic surgeon. Our surgeons work closely with multi-disciplinary teams such as at the Victorian Melanoma Service and the Alfred and St Vincent’s Hospitals.

Following skin cancer surgery, it is essential to continue visiting your doctor regularly for check-ups. The Brighton Plastic Surgery team is happy to liaise with your local skin doctors to ensure optimal skin cancer surveillance.

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Skin Cancer Melanoma
Skin Melanomas Melbourne

Types of Skin Cancer

Australia is the world capital for skin cancer, and a staggering 80% of all new cancers detected in Australia every year are skin cancers. There are two main categories of skin cancer: melanoma and non-melanoma.

Melanoma is the rarest form of cancer, but unfortunately, the most dangerous too.

It is highly aggressive and can spread to all parts of the body very quickly if left untreated, and this spread is often fatal. Regular skin checks and early treatment are incredibly important in managing Melanoma.

Non-melanoma cancers are usually localised, and slower to spread than melanoma, however if neglected or inadequately treated may become locally invasive or in the case of SCC, spread to lymph nodes and beyond.

The two most common types of non-melanoma skin cancers are BCC and SCC.
It is critical that your surgeons are familiar with judging which of these cancers will behave aggressively and spread, and therefore, require urgent attention and treatment.

Certain factors such as immunosuppression due to drugs or other medical conditions may make a patient high-risk for aggressive skin cancer behaviour. As such, it’s critical that extra surveillance measures be employed for these patients.

Basal Cell Skin Cancer

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) skin cancer is mainly caused by sun radiation and account for approximately 70% of all non-melanoma skin cancers.

Surgical excision may be the only treatment option for some types and has the highest long term success rate.

It is important that the individual characteristics of the cancer and the patient are taken into account when deciding which type of treatment is most suitable.

Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

Squamous cell carcinoma, or SCC, is the other main type of non-melanoma skin cancer.

SCC is also mainly caused by sun exposure, and is commonly found in areas that are predominantly exposed to the sun such as the face, ears, neck, and hands.

It is important that a diagnosis is obtained by your doctor using a qualified pathologist and appropriate treatment be employed as early as possible.

The cost of skin cancer surgery is dependent on your specific requirements and circumstances. We invite you to speak with our surgeons to discuss associated fees. In most cases, Medicare or health fund rebates apply.

Our Skin Cancer Surgeons

Our plastic surgeons have a wealth of training and experience in removing skin cancers from every part of the body, including the face, nose, and head.

Both Associate Professor Ramin Shayan and Dr Lipi Shukla are associated with the Victorian Melanoma Service melanoma unit at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital.

We may refer patients to the Alfred Hospital depending on the severity of their condition, allowing rapid access to the entire multidisciplinary team and therefore the latest clinical trials and systemic treatments such as immunotherapy and monoclonal antibody treatments.

Why Choose Brighton Plastic Surgery?

FRACS Surgeons Melbourne

FRACS Surgeons

30+ Years' Experience

30+ Years’ Experience

Honesty and Integrity

Honesty & Integrity

Post-operative Support

Post-operative Support