Skin Cancer & Melanoma Surgery

Skin Cancers

Skin cancers occur when skin cells begin to grown in an uncontrolled fashion. This can be a result of sun damage. There are three main types of skin cancer; Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma. Nonmelanoma skin cancers rarely spread to other parts of the body.

Terry has extensive experience with all forms of skin cancer treatment, providing you with the latest surgical techniques to minimise scarring and achieve the best cosmetic result.

Melanoma

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. New Zealand has the highest incidence of Melanoma in the world.

The stage of the disease is determined by the thickness of the tumour, and the degree the melanoma has spread to lymph nodes and distant sites in the body. 

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How advanced the melanoma is when it is diagnosed strongly influences the treatment. For people who are treated early when melanoma affects only the superficial layers of the skin, the prognosis can be excellent and the disease is often controllable.

Terry provides the latest treatment options in a multidisciplinary team environment to manage your melanoma.

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Sentinel Node Biopsy

Sentinel node biopsy is a technique used to identify which lymph glands your Melanoma is most likely to spread to, if it were to spread.

The procedure consists of a radioactive substance and/or blue dye which is injected near the melanoma scar. The substance or dye flows through lymph ducts to the sentinel node or nodes (the first lymph node or nodes where cancer cells are likely to spread). Terry removes only the nodes with the radioactive substance or dye. A pathologist views a sample of tissue under a microscope to check for cancer cells. If no cancer cells are found, it may not be necessary to have further surgical treatment.

Reconstructive Surgery for Skin Cancer

If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, surgery may be recommended as the best option for removing the cancer and preventing its spread. Depending on the type of skin cancer and how much skin and tissue around the cancer needs to be removed, reconstructive surgery may be required to replace the skin and tissue and to minimize scarring.

There are many different surgical techniques including excision, skin grafting and complex flap surgery. Terry can advise you of the best form of reconstruction for you and can also show you examples of the reconstructions available.

Skin Checks

You can diagnose skin cancers in most cases by identifying changes to your skin early, so it is important to get your skin checked regularly to monitor any changes to your skin. Terry and his team can undertake a comprehensive check of your skin.