Moles, cysts, skin tag surgery
Mole removal in Perth is a specialist technique performed by Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr David Colbert. Dr Colbert has performed over 5000 operations and is a current member of the Western Australia Melanoma Advisory Service, with his experience ensuring your skin is treated with safety and expertise.
By applying expert surgical techniques and precise attention to detail, Dr Colbert can remove moles and cysts with minimal scarring. Mole removal by a non-Plastic Surgeon (e.g. cosmetic physician) or using non-traditional methods (e.g. laser) may result in a greater risk of scarring and a worse overall outcome.
Your skin can develop many different lesions, lumps or cysts:
Moles are dark coloured freckles that are usually removed if they have changed shape or colour, are painful, or unsightly.
Lipomas are soft fatty lumps that grow under the skin, and can range in size from very very small to very large.
Skin tags are small pieces of skin that may develop on the surface of the skin, often near areas that rub together.
Cysts are fluid filled lumps beneath the skin that may slowly increase in size with time, or become infected. Infected cysts are more problematic to remove, so the standard treatment is to delay surgical removal until the infection has settled with antibiotics.
Common reasons for mole or skin tag removal in Perth includes if they are causing symptoms (e.g. pain or discomfort or catches on clothing), if they might be abnormal (e.g. moles that change colour or shape), or if they are unsightly.
Minor skin surgery can be performed under local anaesthesia (with you awake) in Dr Colbert’s procedure rooms in his modern offices in Subiaco. Procedures can also be performed in accredited day surgery hospitals under sedation given by the anaesthetist. You can have the operation as day surgery, meaning you don’t need to stay overnight in the hospital.
The specific technique used will depend on the size of the lesion and the area of your body being treated. The operation is straightforward, with the lesion removed by cutting it out and the resulting wound closed with stitches. A dressing is applied to the wound and you are given post-operative instructions on how to care for the area and when you will see Dr Colbert.
Note that Dr Colbert does not use laser to remove skin lesions . Laser causes collateral damage to an area wider than the initial lesion, resulting in a wider scar. Laser also results in a burn injury, with the skin taking longer to heal and resulting in a higher risk of hypertrophic and keloid scarring. Furthermore using laser results in the skin lesion not being able to be analysed for cancer.
Your exact recovery will depend on the size of the lesion and the area it is located, however most people can return to their usual activities the following day.
Patients usually experience only mild discomfort after the operation.
Follow up with Dr Colbert will be arranged to ensure the wound is healing without problems, to discuss any results, and to remove any stitches.
While there will be a scar from where the lesion was removed, as a plastic surgeon Dr Colbert will always aim to minimise scarring by using precise surgical techniques and by placing scars where they will be hidden.
Surgical scars usually take several months to settle down – they are often initially lumpy, bumpy, red, then after several months settle to become flat, thin, pale.
Skin surgery is associated with the following risks:
Wound infection: this may present as redness or discomfort or discharge, and may require a course of antibiotics.
Bleeding, bruising, and haematoma: haematoma refers to a collection of blood that needs to be removed in the operating room.
Scarring: scars are initially lumpy, but settle down over months. Rarely they may be permanently lumpy or thick (hypertrophic or keloid scarring).
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE): DVT refers to a blood clot that forms in a vein in your limb, which can break off and travel to your lung (PE). This can be serious, but is thankfully very rare, especially in skin surgery.
Skin surgery, like any surgical procedure, carries risks and therefore before proceeding you should always seek an opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
The costs and prices associated with plastic surgery in Perth can be confusing, especially with procedures such as mole or skin tag removal. To help make things clearer we have listed the the following fees that make up the final cost.
Surgical fee: Medicare will partly pay for some surgical procedures that are itemised by the government, however depending on the nature of your operation there will be some out of pocket expenses. In general mole removal for purely cosmetic benefits won’t be covered by Medicare, however Dr Colbert will discuss these costs with you during your consultation.
Anaesthetic or Hospital fees: If your lesions require admission to an accredited day surgery then anaesthetic or hospital fees may be involved. Medicare will cover most of the anaesthetic fee, except in the case of cosmetic operations. Hospital fee (this includes operation room fee, bed costs, surgical or medication fees, and any other hospital extras) are not covered by Medicare. If you have private health insurance then this may be covered by your insurance fund, but you should check with your fund if there is any out of pocket expenses. If you have no private insurance then you will have to pay this fee on discharge from the hospital.