Reconstructive Skin Surgery
Plastic surgery is a fascinating specialty - it addresses clinical problems from head to toe and has been a wellspring of surgical creativity and innovations for centuries. Its fundamental principles – wise planning of reconstruction, creative thinking and delicate operating – represent a rock upon which a plastic surgeon's mindset is set, a solid foundation upon which all other, additional subspecialist expertise is built on later.
We all have moles. They are rarely present at birth, but gradually develop in childhood and early teenage years. Mole, also called melanocytic naevus, is a benign lesion arising at the site of local proliferation of pigment cells (melanocytes). Depending on concentration of melanin pigment, mole colour varies from very light brown to black. Those that are without any pigment i.e. a flesh-coloured ones are known as intradermal naevi.
Vast majority of moles do not need to be checked and/or treated. But it is advisable to get a professional advise if you notice a change in a long standing naevus which has recently become symptomatic and irritating or you notice a new, conspicuous lesion that catches your eye with striking colour, shape or size. Below are some features that you should look for:
- Moles that itch or tingle, bleed or weep
- A lesion that has become raised or develops a lump within it
- Mole which is obviously different from the others in terms of its colour, pigment, size, surface
- Spot that increases in size or changes colour from brown to black or is varied
- Spot with very irregular, non-uniform pigmentation
- The surface of a mole becoming rough, scaly or ulcerated.
Although you may notice one or more skin changes, it does not necessarily mean that you have skin cancer. On the contrary, the vast majority of patients do not even
require a biopsy, let alone total removal. However, it is wise that you have mole checked so that you can be reassured about your condition and action taken if need be. Photo gallery below shows few examples of skin lesions which simply illustrate type of skin changes which should not be ignored.
As a plastic surgeon, I have been screening and removing moles and suspicious skin
lesions for over 25 years. With time and constant exposure, eye gets trained to spot an unusual, suspicious mole reasonably easily. With a use of dermatoscope, a specialist devise that combines a magnifying lens with a bright light, my practice has been strengthen further.
I am a member of skin cancer multidisciplinary team of experts and at duty to report and discuss with colleagues all patients with serious skin malignancies whom I treat. Do come along, if you have any concerns. I hope to be able to expertly reassure you.
Moles that are irritating as catching on jewellery of clothing can be removed for just cosmetic and practical reasons in exchange for a small scar. The objective of such small intervention then is to create a tiny scar of excellent quality which is less noticeable (ideally imperceptible after few months) or irritating than the original mole/lesion. However, please bear in mind that there is no surgery without the scar and without the risk. The catch is to perform procedure in a manner that risks of infection and unfavorable scarring are minimised.
Urgent concern after your surgery ?
Please ring the hospital where you have been operated on or my secretary and they will get in touch with me