Skin cancer usually requires surgery to remove the cancerous growth. Dr Sofianos can surgically remove cancerous and other skin lesions using advanced techniques to preserve your appearance and minimise scarring.


The commonest reason for skin cancer is damage from UV radiation, usually from direct sunlight. A healthy tan is actually a reflection of damage of the skin by UV radiation from the sun. Damage to the skin may be from sun exposure that happened many years earlier, which is cumulative and due to severe sunburns at a younger age.

Sun protection, in the form of SPF15 and above is also protective against skin cancer. It is vital to apply regular sun protection to your children and to yourself, on a daily basis.


The skin has multiple cells that can give rise to different types of skin cancer. Broadly-speaking, skin cancer can either be melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer, most commonly basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common types of skin cancer. Actinic keratosis is a precursor skin condition that in some cases becomes squamous cell carcinoma.

Melanoma is less common than basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma but is very serious due to its propensity to invade local tissues and spread to other parts of the body.


Skin cancer surgery involves two parts - the excision (removal) of the skin cancer and then the reconstruction of the defect caused by the removal. Depending on the location and extent of the procedure, Dr Sofianos will recommend the procedure is either done as an outpatient procedure under local anaesthetic or in the operating theatre with sedation or general anaesthetic.

Skin cancer can be like an iceberg so that the lesion visible on the skin represents only a small portion of the entire tumour and beneath the skin, the cancer might cover a larger area not visible externally. In such cases, Dr Sofianos utilises the services of a histopathologist during the procedure to define the borders of the cancer so that it may be removed completely.

A skin cancer that is large, is likely to require tissue to fill the defect created by its removal. When Dr Sofianos performs a local flap, he re-arranges adjacent, healthy tissue. Incisions and suture lines are made so the final scar rests in natural creases so as to minimise its future visibility. Complex reconstructions may necessitate tissue to be imported from another site in the body and/or more than one procedure to produce satisfactory outcomes. In some cases, Dr Sofianos will reconstruct the defect with a skin graft instead of a local flap, and ultimately means that a thin piece of skin is removed from one area of the body and placed at the excision site.


Upon waking from surgery or once the local anaesthetic wears off, you can expect some pain near the incisions. During recovery, incision sites may be red and drain small amounts of fluid. Dr Sofianos will prescribe pain medication and, if needed, antibiotics.

Healing takes place over a few weeks, and return to work depends on the extent of the procedure.

It may take up to a year scars to refine and fade to some degree. It is vital that sun exposure is limited, and sun protection utilised as this may result in darkening of the scars, and increasing the risk of skin cancer development in other parts of the skin.




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