Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world, more than two-thirds of the Australian population will develop a skin cancer of some kind during their lives. Dr Tonks and Dr Rome provide both surgical removal of skin cancers and can also provide non-surgical treatments such as topical medications depending on the type of skin cancer diagnosis.

FAQs

Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It is the most common of all cancers. Skin cancer usually occurs in people who have been exposed to too much ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. People in the higher risk category of developing skin cancer usually have:

  • Fair skin and freckle easily
  • Light-coloured hair and eyes
  • A large number of moles, or moles of unusual size or shape
  • A family history of skin cancer or a personal history of blistering sunburn
  • Spent a lot of time working or playing outdoors
  • Intense, year-round sun exposure. This includes people who live closer to the equator, at a higher altitude, or in any place that gets intense sunshine

Some less common causes of skin cancer include:

  • Some medications, such as immunosuppressant drugs
  • UV therapy for conditions such as psoriasis and adolescent acne
  • Use of sunlamps sunbeds and solariums
  • Over-exposure to chemicals such as coal tar, soot, asphalt, paraffin waxes, petroleum derivatives and arsenic
  • Some rare hereditary conditions

Skin cancer needs to be treated promptly as it can be just as life threatening as any other cancer if left untreated. The danger of skin cancer is that it can spread to other parts of the body if treatment is not undertaken.

Factors include your age, general health, the type and size of the skin cancer, where it is on your body, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body.

If your doctor suspects that you may have a skin cancer, a biopsy may be performed by your GP for diagnosis. This is a quick and simple procedure usually done under local anaesthesia.

For a known or suspected Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) or Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), your doctor may surgically excise the lesion and send it to the pathology laboratory for examination under the microscope. If the examination shows that all the cancer cells have been removed, you may not need further treatment.

Alternatively your GP may refer you to Dr Tonks or Dr Rome for formal excision of the skin cancer depending on the location and size of the skin cancer.

First, you will need a referral from you GP or skin specialist. Dr Tonks and Dr Rome are Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and do not perform routine skin checks on patients.

Once you have a referral you can contact our practice to book a consultation with Dr Tonks or Dr Rome. During your consultation our Surgeons will review your referral and any pathology results. They will then discuss your treatments options and provide you with informed consent regarding the recommended surgical procedure.

If you are happy to proceed with your planned surgery, our team of dedicated administration staff will discuss booking a date for your surgery and will also discuss Dr Tonks and Dr Romes surgical fees.

Dr Tonks and Dr Romes gap fee for skin cancer surgery is $550. If you have private health insurance the surgery will be performed at Barton Private Hospital and you also have to pay any excess fees associated with your hospital admission.

If you are uninsured, we do have an onsite procedure room that Dr Tonks and Dr Rome can perform your skin cancer surgery in for a flat fee of $1200. Please note that there are no Medicare rebates available with this option.

Both options include your initial post operative appointments and pathology costs.

Generally, skin cancer surgery is performed under local anaesthetic. However, there instances where a general anaesthetic may be required, such as invasion melamoma requiring sentinel node biopsy. Dr Tonks and Dr Rome will discuss this with you during your consultation.

Following your surgery you will have dressing on that will need to stay dry and in place for 1 week. At your post operative appointment, our team of specialised nurses will remove your dressing and any sutures, provide you with your pathology results and any follow up wound care or scar management instructions. It is common to have pain and swelling to the incision site.

Please note: If you have any bleeding that wont resolve with rest, pressure and/or elevation please contact our rooms for further advice. If it is outside business hours, please present to your local hospital or walk in clinic.

Most skin cancer surgeries heal well with Dr Tonks and Dr Rome aiming for the best aesthetic outcome regarding size and location of scars. However, all invasive surgical procedures results in a scar. Our team of specialist nurses will discuss optimal wound healing and scar minimisation with you during your post operative appointments.