Skin Cancer Surgery

Mr. Salerno is an accredited Plastic Surgeon and a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He is a skin cancer specialist who regularly attends the Melanoma Clinic at the Alfred Hospital.

The most common type of treatment for an invasive Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) or Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), is surgical excision. In most cases this can be performed under a local anaesthetic in the procedure room in our clinics.

It often involves making an incision and removing the skin cancer and some surrounding tissue to ensure all the cancerous cells are removed. The defect is then sutured, and a dressing is applied.

You will be given instructions on how to manage the wound and a post operative appointment will be made for you so the nurse can review your wound and remove the sutures. We also have a number of treatments available to ensure that the scar is minimized and the outcome is optimized particularly if the surgery involved the skin on the face.

Occasionally the skin cancer is too large or is in a difficult position and a simple excision is not possible. In this case, a rotation flap, a free flap or closure with a skin graft is necessary. Mr. Salerno has extensive experience in these types of surgeries and will discuss your options with you in detail. You may be required to go to hospital for your surgery as a day case or stay overnight and this will depend on the type of surgery, your age and your overall health.

An estimate of the charges for your surgery will be provided in writing at your first consultation with the surgeon. Please be aware that you will have an out of pocket cost which is the component of your payment which is not rebatable from Medicare or your health fund.
Sometimes the surgeon may take a biopsy first to determine the type of skin cancer and the level of invasiveness.

Those skin cancers that are superficial can sometimes be treated with a special type of cream. The skin cancer that is removed will always be sent to a laboratory where a Pathologist looks at it under a microscope to determine what type of skin cancer it is, and if all the margins are clear of tumour cells to indicate that it was completely removed.

Pathologists work independently from surgeons, and you will receive a separate invoice from the Laboratory.
Depending on the type of skin cancer you may be required to have other types of therapies such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

If you are diagnosed with a Melanoma, you will be referred to the Melanoma clinic at the Alfred Hospital. Here you will be seen by a team of specialists and other tests such as PET scans may be required. This scan can determine if there has been any spread of the Melanoma to other areas of the body.

Mr. Salerno works closely with our nurses to ensure that your care is streamlined. We recommend that all our patients have a Molemap skin check to determine if there are any other lesions of concern. This should be performed every 12 months and you do not need a referral from your GP in order to have a Molemap skin check. 

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Papillon Skin Clinic
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