Our "See & Treat Service" allows you to access specialist plastic surgery services in the most convenient way possible. We developed this service because we recognise that your time is important and that it is not easy to take time off work to have a procedure done. Under our 2020 COVIDsafe plan we have adapted the service so that we still provide you with a no obligation free fee estimate, but we are subsequently providing a consultation via telehealth, then performing your procedure face to face (with our clinical staff wearing both face masks and shields) in our Richmond rooms. The steps are detailed in the image below:
How do I access the "See & Treat" Service?
If you have a skin lesion that requires biopsy or removal simply email us your completed registration forms and a photograph of the lesion along with a brief description of what treatment you are seeking to have done (for example: "I'd like to have this lump removed from my arm"). Dr Jill Tomlinson will review your information and we will contact you to provide a cost estimate and to arrange a date for the procedure. If you wish to receive a Medicare rebate for the procedure please also email us your doctor's referral.
Please ensure that you include the following information with your email:
- Intake paperwork (3 page PDF)
- At least one photograph of the area to be treated. It is of great assistance if we can determine what size the treatment area is, so please take the photo in a way that helps us - for example, take one photo from a distance as well as a close-up, or place something next to the treatment area (such as a 5 cent piece or a ruler) to give an idea of the size.
- A doctor's referral, if you wish to be eligible for a Medicare rebate for the procedure.
Points to be aware of:
- Under our COVIDsafe plan we will conduct your initial consultation via telehealth (usually videoconsultation but this can be via telephone if you prefer) on a separate day from your procedure, to minimise face to face contact.
- the "See & Treat" service is performed by Dr Jill Tomlinson, who is assisted by a registered nurse. You will not have a general anaesthetic or be administered sedation for a "See & Treat" procedure.
- we strongly advise that you plan to avoid strenuous activities for 48 hours after the procedure. In some cases your activities may be restricted for longer than this. Bruising and swelling are common side effects of surgical procedures and while we do everything we can to minimise this you should not plan to have a procedure performed on your face in the days before an important life event!
- the accuracy of the cost estimate we provide you can be affected by how clear the photographs you send us are. This is because the Medicare rebate varies according to the size of a skin lesion and also according to the type of skin lesion (for example, a Medicare rebate is higher for melanoma treatment than for removal of a non-cancerous lump).
- the "See & Treat" service does not provide a diagnosis or consultation service via email. We cannot advise you via email whether you have a skin cancer. We are only able to provide treatment advice once you have attended our rooms for treatment.
- we send every specimen off for pathology testing, so that we can be certain of the diagnosis. If the skin lesion turns out to be a skin cancer the pathology results will show whether the skin cancer has been completely removed. If it has not been completely removed you may require further surgery.
- you will have a follow-up appointment scheduled at 5-14 days after your procedure. At this appointment we will check your wound, remove any stitches that need to be removed, discuss your results and give you a copy of your results, and address any questions or concerns that you have.
- in some instances when you attend for your "See & Treat" appointment it may become evident that you require more comprehensive surgery than was anticipated. If this is the case your appointment i) may take longer than planned, ii) may need to be rescheduled for another day, or iii) may need to be performed in a hospital setting. This is unlikely but we need you to be aware of this possibility.
- in some instances we will recommend that you have a biopsy before you have the lump or spot completely removed. This is because the amount of tissue that needs to be removed varies according to what it is. For example, a mole does not need to have a portion of the surrounding tissue removed, but a melanoma does.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Will I have an anaesthetic for the procedure? You will have a local anaesthetic, which is given by an injection to the area being treated. The injection does not make you sleepy or sedated.
- What type of procedures do you do as "See & Treat"? The most common procedures are removal of moles, skin cancers, skin irregularities and ear gauge repair. All the procedures are performed under local anaesthetic and we have a diathermy ("cautery") machine to minimise bleeding and bruising.
- Can I drive home afterwards? This depends on the treatment site. If the treatment is likely to affect the movement of your hands or your vision you should not plan to drive home. If in doubt, don't drive. Take a taxi, or public transport, or ask someone to drive you.
- Will there be a scar? If there is an injury to the skin the human body heals this with a scar. We aim to make this scar as unnoticeable as possible. We will advise you on scar prevention treatment and scar management so that you get the best result possible.
- I'm not sure if I want to go ahead with the procedure. Can I meet Dr Tomlinson first to talk it through? Absolutely, you can schedule a standard appointment to meet Dr Tomlinson and discuss your questions prior to scheduling to have the procedure. This will mean that you have two appointments. If you are uncertain about whether you wish to have the procedure done we recommend that you do not book for a "See & Treat" procedure.
- What if I need to reschedule or cancel? We require 24 hours notice by phone if you will not be able to attend your scheduled appointment. Appointments that are cancelled or rescheduled with less than 24 hours notice will attract the full procedure fee.
- I live 3 hours drive away. Do I have to come back for a follow-up appointment? If your general practitioner is willing to manage your follow-up please ask him or her to confirm this on your referral. If you are not able to return to see Dr Tomlinson for any follow-up visits we ask that you pre-arrange a medical practitioner who is willing and able to manage your follow-up. We don't want you to be caught short if you have a complication or problem. While we can conduct some follow up appointments via telehealth we cannot remove stitches via videoconsultation.
- What are the possible complications? Having a skin lesion removed is usually a straightforward procedure. However, the possible complications include bleeding, infection, bruising, swelling, scarring, wound breakdown, discomfort or pain, an allergic reaction to the tapes or dressing, and a need to have another procedure to remove more tissue (if a skin cancer has not been completely removed).
If your question is not answered here please let us know so that we can update the list.