Skin Treatment

Skin Cancer Management Melbourne

What is Skin Cancer Management?

There are three common types of skin cancer; BCC (Basal Cell Carcinoma), SCC (Squamous Cell Carcinoma) and Melanoma. These cancers typically arise as a consequence of chronic sun exposure. They are more prevalent in fair-skinned patients and in people who have had significant UV exposure such as multiple sunburns especially in childhood, use of tanning salons, and previous skin cancers. Additionally, patients who are on medications that suppress their immune system, or have had radiotherapy, are also more prone to these cancers.

Many skin cancers are treated easily with surgery, some superficial and premalignant forms of skin cancer can be treated with prescribed skin creams (e.g. Aldara™ or Efudix™). If your surgeon has recommended surgery, this is often managed as either a day case in the hospital or a minor procedure in the consulting rooms.

Surgery can be performed under a local anaesthetic (LA), twilight anaesthetic (LA and sedation) or general anaesthesia (GA), depending on the procedure, your health and your preference. If performed in hospital the anaesthetist will discuss your needs on the day of surgery. All hospital patients are required to fast prior to their operation. Consulting room procedures are always LA only and do not require fasting.

Post-procedure Care and Recovery

  • Do not smoke, this will delay healing and increase the risk of complications.
  • If you have had surgery on your head and neck region try to sleep slightly elevated on at least 2 pillows.
  • You are likely to feel temporary pain and have mild bruising, swelling and tightness at the surgical incision site.

Wound Care

  • Keep all tapes and dressings intact until your first review appointment
  • Most wounds need to be kept dry for 24 hours. After this, it can get wet but must be gently patted dry to avoid injury. Occasionally you will be asked to keep all your dressings intact and dry for longer.
  • Avoid soaking in the bath until after your first postoperative appointment.
  • Surgical scars will remain pink and firm for several months before they soften and fade. Your scars will take 6 to 12 months before they fully mature and settle.

Activity

  • Please modify your activity as indicated by your surgeon. These limitations vary and should be discussed before and after surgery and at the postoperative review.
  • In general, avoid public pools, strenuous activity or activity that can potentially lead to excessive stretch of your wound(s). All of these can compromise healing and final outcome.

Follow-up and Review

  • At the time of your procedure, you will have your first follow-up appointment time and site confirmed. This will typically be at 1 week.
  • Please ensure that you have the contact details of Niche Plastic Surgery handy, and the after-hours contact of your surgeon. You can call at any time if you have any questions or concerns.

We would always want to know if:

  • You have increased swelling or bruising and worsening pain.
  • You have increasing redness around the surgical wound that is warm and tender to touch.
  • You have any side effects to the medications such as a skin rash, nausea, headaches or vomiting.
  • You feel unwell with a fever and increased temperature.
  • You have any bleeding or discharge from your wound.

Call us to Discuss Your Skin Cancer Management Options

Scheduling a one-on-one consultation with a specialist plastic surgeon is the best way to find out more information about skin cancer managemnt options. If you need more information or wish to schedule a consultation with one of our FRACS qualified surgeons, call Niche Plastic Surgery on 9853 9705.