Patient Rights and Responsibilities
Please note that the Skin Health Institute is currently seeing patients from age 12 and above.
Most clinics at the Institute require a referral from a GP or a dermatologist, so please ensure you have it on hand when booking an appointment. If you don’t have a valid referral, you may incur out-of-pocket charges.
Please email your referral to the following address: [email protected]
These apply to patients displaying Covid-19 symptoms or respiratory conditions.
The Institute takes the health and safety of staff and patients very seriously and has implemented the following measures to reduce the risk to staff and patients:
- If you are displaying covid symptoms, please get in touch with the Institute and reschedule your appointment.
- All staff and patients are required to wear a mask. Please be advised that you may need to keep your mask on during your consultation with your treating doctor if you display respiratory symptoms.
- If you display respiratory symptoms related to an unrelated underlying condition, please provide a letter from your GP or contact reception to undergo a RAT test the day before seeing a doctor.
The best preparation for your surgery is a good night’s sleep, usual breakfast (and lunch if your surgery is scheduled in the afternoon), and regular medications unless advised to withhold them by your prescribing doctor.
If you are taking any regular medications, you should take them as normal unless advised to withhold them. You should dress comfortably. You will ideally have someone to drive you home after surgery. Due to the limited space, we request that you only bring one companion. Do not bring any valuables or wear unnecessary jewellery. Do not wear makeup if the surgery being carried out is on your face.
On the day of surgery, a number of people will be involved in your treatment. These will include 1 principal plastic surgeon or dermatologist and 1-2 other doctors (all of whom may be involved in performing the surgery) and 1-2 nurses.
Advanced surgery is performed under local anaesthetic, while you are awake. The approximate time for surgery is 1-2 hours, this depends on the complexity of the surgery and also the number of lesions being removed.
Every surgery is different, which means that we may sometimes be behind schedule. We will do our best to attend to the surgery on the day, however this is not always possible. Sometimes surgery is too complex for a variety of reasons and is best carried out as an inpatient in a hospital. This will be discussed and planned with you at your preoperative appointment.
The wound will be repaired in one of several ways. This will be decided at your preoperative appointment, or on the day and explained in detail to you. The repair option chosen aims to give the best possible cosmetic and functional result.
Direct closure is a common type of repair and involves stitching the edges of the wound directly together.
Flap repairs involve moving nearby skin to fill the wound. This leads to more stitches than you may have anticipated.
Graft repairs involve taking skin from another area of the body (donor site). This is usually from a non-cosmetic site to minimise scarring. The donor skin is then grafted/sewn to the wound with stitches.
Granulation involves letting the wound heal by itself like a graze. If the wound is allowed to granulate it usually heals in 8 – 10 weeks. Daily dressing changes are required.
A dressing will be applied after surgery to help reduce bleeding and protect the wound. You will be given verbal and written instructions on wound care and what to do in the event of any complications. You may need time off work or exercise regimes may need to be ceased temporarily. Please discuss any concerns with medical staff.
As with all surgeries, complications may arise. A list of these complications include:
- Pain afterwards
- Incomplete removal of cancer
Associated risks and complications will be discussed prior to surgery. Please don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor about any concerns or questions you may have.
If you are experiencing any significant bleeding, major swelling, severe pain, unexpected numbness, or discharge from the wound, please contact:
- Within business hours | (03) 9623 9400
- Within business hours to speak with a nurse | (03) 9623 9480
- After business hours, please call | 0437 670 630
For all urgent medical emergencies, please call 000 or your GP.
If you are having surgery, please arrange for a relative or friend to accompany you in a car or taxi. You must not go home on public transport or drive following your surgery.
We require you to come back 1-2 weeks after surgery for a wound review and/or removal of your stitches. A follow up appointment to see the doctor is usually required after your stitches are removed. The pathology results of the lesion will be discussed during one of these appointments. If further treatment is required, this will also be discussed. After the wound is healed you will be referred back to your referring doctor for ongoing surveillance.