Cryotherapy is most commonly used for the treatment of solar keratoses (sun-spots). We use liquid nitrogen in a spray form. It is extremely cold and destroys the abnormal cells by causing them to expand thus disrupting the cell membrane. The process does sting a little and has an uncomfortable itch for an hour or so after the procedure. The frozen areas will form into little ‘sores' which will take approximately a week to heal, but this will depend on the depth of freeze which is determined by the thickness of the sun-spot.
Lesions treated with cryotherapy can be washed normally but it is important to avoid rubbing or scratching the individual ‘sores'.
At the Redlands Mole Screening & Skin Cancer Centre we endeavour to avoid excessive freezing which causes white scars, however this may be unavoidable when very thick/large lesions are treated.
Electro-Cautery is a small burn, and tends to be used at the Redlands Mole Screening & Skin Cancer Centre primarily for the treatment of superficial neoplastic lesions. In other words, patches of abnormal growing cells which usually have little thickness and simply sit in the top layers of the skin. The treatment in these cases usually only takes a few seconds depending on the size of the lesions being treated. While it does sting a little at the time, it tends not to be painful afterwards and forms into a small sore which usually heals within a week with no scarring.
Larger lesions may sometimes be treated this way but the Doctor would use local anaesthetic prior to this type of treatment.
Lesions treated with electro-cautery can be washed normally but it is important to avoid rubbing or scratching the individual ‘sores'.
Minor surgery is used for the removal of skin cancers or abnormal moles. The use of digital epiluminescence light microscopy allows more accurate diagnosis, thus reducing the number of ‘normal' moles removed.
Minor surgery can take two forms:
Biopsy: involves injection of a small amount of local anaesthetic and then removing a very small sample of tissue to be sent to the Pathologist for examination. Biopsies will usually (but not always) be closed with one suture to reduce any risk of bleeding. The Doctor will usually get you back in a week to remove the suture and discuss the pathology results with you.
Excision: involves injection of local anaesthetic followed by removal of the entire lesion. This can involve a number of techniques but will require the Doctor to suture the skin to repair the wound. You will be advised when to return to have the sutures removed. All specimens removed by the Redlands Mole Screening & Skin Cancer Centre are sent for testing by expert Pathologists, who specialise in analysing skin cancer.
After care of minor surgery: Most wounds will feel a little sore once the local anaesthetic has worn off. Often, no pain relief is required but if necessary, a dose of paracetamol is adequate to make you feel more comfortable. It is important that wounds are kept covered, clean and dry for the first 48 hours after minor surgery. After this time, the dressings can be removed and the wound can be bathed using salty water or a weak antiseptic solution. Never leave a wet dressing on the wound.
If you have any problems with your wound such as excessive pain, bleeding or redness, then please contact the clinic.
Complex Surgery. While most surgery can be done on site some more complex procedures are best treated by a specialist Plastic Surgeon. The Redlands Mole Screening & Skin Cancer Centre has a very good working relationship with a number of specialist Plastic Surgeons to whom more advanced or complicated cases will be sent. You can be assured that we only use those surgeons with the finest skills and reputations.