Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and early detection is essential to prevent it from spreading and causing further harm.  Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can be seen on the skin unlike other types of cancers. There are several ways to remove skin cancer, but the most common treatment that is effective and aesthetically pleasing is to surgically remove it which can be performed by a plastic surgeon.

For more advanced melanoma, the surgical procedures which can be performed by plastic surgeons include

  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsies where a surgical procedure is conducted to determine whether a skin cancer has spread to the body’s lymphatic system
  • Advanced Lymphatic Clearance Surgery may be used when melanoma has spread to the sentinel nodes in the body, lymph node clearance surgery is performed to remove all the lymph nodes in the target area

Read more about these advanced melanoma surgical procedures

Benefits of Skin Cancer Removal with a Plastic Surgeon

There are several benefits to having skin cancer removal performed by a plastic surgeon, including

  • Aesthetic Outcome
    • Plastic surgeons are trained in aesthetic techniques that can help to minimise scarring and improve the appearance of the skin after surgery.
  • Precise Removal
    • Plastic surgeons have a high level of precision when it comes to removing cancerous cells, reducing the risk of recurrence, and ensuring that all the cancerous cells are removed.
  • Experience with Reconstruction
    • If a large area of skin needs to be removed, a plastic surgeon can perform reconstructive surgery to help restore the appearance of the affected area.

What to Expect During Recovery

Recovery time after skin cancer removal will vary depending on the type of procedure and the size of the affected area. You can expect some swelling, redness, and discomfort in the first few days after surgery, and you may need to take some time off work to recover. You will also need to keep the affected area covered and protected from the sun to minimise the risk of scarring and promote healing.

Skin cancer removal with a plastic surgeon is an effective option for removing cancerous growths from the skin. With their expertise in aesthetic techniques and reconstructive surgery, plastic surgeons may help to minimise scarring and restore the appearance of the skin after surgery.

If you’re concerned about skin cancer, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible to discuss your options and get the treatment you need, get in touch with Dr. Mark Lee today.

Choosing to have plastic surgery is a serious personal decision and undertaking. Please be mindful that any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.

Breast implant illness (BII) is a term used to describe a range of symptoms that some women may experience after receiving breast implants. While the cause of BII is still not fully understood, the symptoms can be diverse and can range from physical to emotional.

If you think you may be affected by BII, it’s important to take action and seek professional help. The first step is to be aware of the symptoms, which can include

  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Hair loss
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Some women may also experience changes in the appearance of their breasts, such as swelling, redness, or asymmetry.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms above, it’s important to speak with your plastic surgeon as soon as possible. To confirm diagnosis of BII, your surgeon will perform a thorough examination to determine if there are any issues with your implants, such as ruptures or leaks. They will inform you of the available options for treatment, which may involve removing the implants or replacing them with new ones.

It’s also important to remember that not all women who have breast implants will experience BII. In many cases, the symptoms can be caused by other factors, such as hormonal changes, stress, or underlying medical conditions. Your plastic surgeon can rule out the cause of your symptoms and provide the best course of treatment for you.

In conclusion, if you think you may be affected by BII, it’s important to take action and seek professional help. By consulting your plastic surgeon, you can understand the symptoms and determine what the best course of treatment is to help you feel better. Remember that early detection and treatment can greatly improve your chances of a full recovery, so do not hesitate to reach out for help if you’re feeling unwell.

If you suspect that you have symptoms of BII, contact Dr. Mark Lee to confirm this.

Choosing to have plastic surgery is a serious personal decision and undertaking. Please be mindful that any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.

So you’re all booked in for your neck lift procedure and now you’re wondering, so what happens after the surgery? Now that the surgeon’s hard work is done, it’s your turn to ensure the best possible recovery for yourself.

Here are our top seven tips for achieving the best results.

Be prepared

The first day after a neck lift procedure can be uncomfortable, so you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got some support – whether that be friends or family – to help make your recovery smoother.

Having someone take you home, prepare your meals and help you with any strenuous daily activities can help speed up recovery. Alternatively, you may like to prepare some meals, do your laundry and any house cleaning in advance of your surgery.

Wear comfortable and loose clothes

Its recommended to stay away from pull-over shirts for the first few weeks. Instead, opt for loose clothing that’s comfortable and won’t irritate your neck. Button-up shirts or something that you can easily slip on are the best options.

Stay hydrated

Not hydrating enough can cause your skin to dehydrate and contract – especially at the incision site. With that, it’ll not only result in impaired wound healing, but also the formation of scars.

To prevent any complications from occurring, it’s recommended that you drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day.

Minimise swelling with ice

Make sure you’ve got ice packs on hand as they can help with managing both pain and swelling. When using ice packs, however, make sure that you wrap them in a towel and not placing them directly on your skin. After the first few days, there may be a reduction in sensation and leaving an ice pack that’s unwrapped for too long could potentially cause an ice burn.

Avoid sun exposure

After a neck lift procedure, it is recommended to avoid sun exposure as it can result in darkening of the skin and hyperpigmentation. Moreover, the skin around the incisions is also incredibly sensitive after surgery so you’ll want to protect it as much as possible.

If you do need to venture outside, it’s best to cover the neck area with a scarf or clothing. You should also apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on your incision area – even if it’s covered by clothing. 

Keep in touch with your doctor

After your procedure, your doctor will provide you with personalised and specific instructions on what medications you should be taking, and details for your recovery. It’s important to take all this onboard and ask questions if there’s anything that you’re unclear on.

If any questions arise during your recovery, please ensure you reach out to your doctor for advice or guidance.

Prioritise rest and nutrition

Rest and nutrition are both important in ensuring a smooth recovery. As your body uses energy to heal itself, make sure that you’re getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep a day.

Some of the best foods that you can incorporate into your diet within the recovery period include fresh vegetables, wholegrains and lean protein. Foods you should avoid on the other hand, include processed foods and dairy products as they can also cause inflammation.  

If you’re ready to schedule your first consultation, get in touch with Dr. Mark Lee here.

Please be aware that choosing to have surgery is a serious personal decision and undertaking. Be mindful that any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.

A liposuction procedure is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries performed today. Commonly mistaken as a weight loss technique, liposuction can be effective at reducing body fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise. Most commonly, the pockets of fat are on the inner thighs and hips of women and on the abdomen of men.

If you’re looking to get a liposuction procedure, here are five things that you should know.

Liposuction often uses ultrasound and laser technology

Traditional liposuction (also known as tumescent liposuction) typically involves several small incisions before small hollow tubes (cannulas) of only 1.5mm in size pumps the fat back and forth to dislodge the deposits before a surgical vacuum removes it.

Newer types of liposuction, however, include ultra-sound as well as laser-assisted techniques. Depending on the patient and the desired outcomes your doctor may opt to use ultra-sound energy to break up the fat before placing fine tubes through very small incisions help to remove it.

Liposuction works best on individuals that have firm and elastic skin

Liposuction works best for adults who are within 30% of their ideal body weight. Ideal candidates should also have firm and elastic skin, good muscle tone, and be a non-smoker.

Liposuction is not a weight loss or cellulite-reduction procedure

In most instances, liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that helps in improving the overall appearance of a body area. The goal of a liposuction procedure is to reshape or contour a body area by removing fat deposits.

A common misconception of liposuction is that it helps with removing cellulite when that isn’t the case. While a liposuction surgical procedure can slightly improve the appearance of cellulite, it will not fix or remove it altogether.

Strenuous activities need to be limited for a few weeks

In addition to the face and breasts, there are many cosmetic procedures specific to body shape and contour available.

In most instances, you will be able to return to work and daily activities within a few days, however, your doctor may advise you to avoid any overly strenuous activities and sports.

The swelling from the liposuction procedure typically takes the longest to resolve and you may continue to see swelling around the liposuction area for a several weeks.

Liposuction does come with its risks

While liposuction is generally a very safe procedure, like any other surgery, there are some risks. Some of these risks include scarring, dimpling and poor skin elasticity.

If you are considering liposuction, it’s important that you find a fully trained plastic surgeon or general surgeon that has plenty of experience.

To learn more about how Dr Mark Lee can help you achieve your aesthetic goals, get in touch with the team to book your consultation.

Choosing to have plastic surgery is a serious personal decision and undertaking. Please be mindful that any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.

When considering Cosmetic Surgery, it’s important to ensure you make an educated and informed choice on the surgery options available. Your first consultation is your opportunity to delve deeper – through discussing your desired outcomes with our team, we can help you explore all aspects associated with any appropriate surgical or non-surgical procedures.

In this article, we’ll cover the key considerations, questions and information you should come prepared with, in order to make the most out of your first Cosmetic Surgery Consult.

Describe your surgical goals and desired outcomes

What do you hope to achieve by having cosmetic surgery? Your goals will directly influence our recommendations and form the foundation of your treatment plan. Even though you may come in with a particular procedure in mind, Dr Lee has a wealth of experience and may be able to offer alternate recommendations that will ensure we effectively manage your expectations and deliver the best possible outcome in pursuit of your goals.

Compile your medical records

It’s important that you bring your referral, Medicare card and private health insurance card to your first consultation. By also bringing your medical history, we will be able to better understand your circumstances, comprehend any limitations in place and ensure we pursue an option that will deliver the best results for you.

Prepare a list of questions

It is important to make note of any questions that you may have and bring it with you on the day.  That way you can ensure that all your questions and concerns have been answered and that you have all the information you require to make an informed decision regarding surgery. Whether it’s about timeline, recovery or results, it’s important to have the utmost confidence in your surgeon, know their fee structure, understand your procedure and be aware of any associated risks. You may find the answers to some of your general questions here.

When considering any procedure, it’s important to be as best informed as possible, to manage your expectations and understand any risk involved. If you are interested in discussing your personal circumstances further, get in touch with us or book a consultation with Dr Mark Lee.

If you’ve been thinking about trying Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal treatment, now is a perfect time. As the weather cools, the conditions for successful treatment are just right and here’s why.

IPL hear removal is more responsive to winter skin

IPL hair removal works by light being attracted to dark pigments in hair follicles, so the higher the contrast between skin and hair colour, the better the result. Darker skin can interfere with the process making it hard for the light to target the hair follicles accurately and safely. During winter, when everybody is rugged up and hiding from the elements, their skin tends to be lighter, so it is possible you may be able to achieve the same result in fewer treatments.

Less exposure to the sun

It is essential to take care of the skin after IPL hair removal by avoiding exposure to direct sunlight. The treated skin is sensitive, and exposure to UV rays can lead to redness, inflammation, and irritation. During winter, you are more likely to be covered up with warm clothing, giving your skin a chance to recover from the treatment.

Improved healing after IPL skin rejuvenation

If you’re interested in IPL skin rejuvenation to treat skin conditions like acne, broken capillaries, or uneven colouring, winter is also a great time to consider treatment. IPL specialists generally advise clients to avoid sun exposure and high temperatures to give the skin time to recover. As skin often looks worse before it gets better with this treatment, being able to rug up and cover up makes it easier to conceal the treated areas.

Be permanently hair-free by summer

Last but not least, by scheduling your IPL treatment in winter, you can be entirely and permanently hair-free by summer. To achieve permanent results, approximately eight treatments are required, so if you time it right across winter and spring, you will be all set for summer.

Find out more about our IPL hair reduction treatment.

As the morning chill sets in, it’s time to consider how to keep your skin looking youthful over the winter months. Here are five tips to keep you looking your best

Use sunscreen daily

UV radiation is the leading cause of colour and texture changes that age your skin, along with being carcinogenic. You may think, “why do I need sunscreen in winter, when it’s not hot or sunny?” but UV rays are still present during the cooler months, especially in somewhere as sunny as Perth. Look for products with an SPF of 30 or above with active ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium oxide for the best results.

Stay hydrated

Cooler weather can lead to us drink less water than we do in summer, so it’s vital to stay vigilant around your hydration. Your skin will remain moisturised, healthy, and glowing throughout winter by staying hydrated. Every body is different, but the Australian Nutrient Reference Values recommend adults consume between 2-3L of water a day, depending on their age, gender, and activity levels.

Use products that promote skin hydration

To hydrate your skin and ensure it stays that way, you should consider using products that both hydrate and moisturise. Yes, there is a difference – hydration adds water to the skin, and moisturiser prevents that water from escaping. Finding the right product for your skin will depend on your skin type. Look for products containing glycerin or hyaluronic acid, known as humectants (they draw water to themselves), and ceramides, a natural part of the skin’s protective barrier.

Strengthen your skin barrier

The increase in windy weather, colder temperatures and artificial heating in winter can damage your skin barrier. To help it withstand the effects of winter and keep it looking youthful at the same time, you should consider using products that contain lipids (fatty acids and ceramides) or ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, which will strengthen your skin barrier by enhancing its natural defences. These ingredients help replenish and stimulate lipid production, allowing the skin to repair itself.

Watch what you eat and drink

What you eat and drink has a direct relationship with your skin. Limit alcohol consumption and avoid inflammatory foods, sugar and sweeteners, and processed foods. They can spike blood sugar levels and cause the body to release Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs) that speed up the aging process.

By protecting your skin from the winter sun and wind, keeping hydrated and eating well, you have the best chance of achieving your desired results.

We recommend O Cosmedics products and are a stockist. Visit the Mark Lee Plastic Surgeon rooms to view our selection of products.

For many women a mammaplasty can be a life changing operation. Reducing the size of large breasts can free them from back and neck pain, make exercise more comfortable and improve breast symmetry and shape.

If you are considering a breast reduction surgery, there are some factors you may wish to consider when preparing for your specialist consultation and surgery.

Your surgeon

Be sure to check in with your surgeon and discuss the method they will use. There are a variety of surgical methods used by different surgeons to perform this procedure. Often, there will be two types of scars you may experience as a result of this procedure. The ‘anchor’ scar is the most common, however some patients may be suitable for a circumventricular scar or a ‘lollipop’ shaped scar. Healing will vary based on your genetics and after care, however scars tend to be hidden by your bra post-surgery.

Both methods come with their pros and cons, Dr. Mark Lee’s technique involves reducing scar size wherever possible and enhancing breast position and proportion. The aim is to achieve a breast size and shape that is balanced and harmonious with a woman’s height and body shape.

Your health and wellness

When considering a breast reduction surgery, you will need to discuss your current medical status with your doctor. This will include your physical health, with consideration for any medical history or medications, as well as your physical status, such as diet and exercise regime. You can expect a blood pressure and heart rate test at minimum before surgery.

Your mental health will be equally prioritised in the lead up to surgery, with consideration for mental illnesses and their treatment being the first point of call. It is your responsibility to consider the mental load of undergoing a medical procedure and ensure you are prepared for the procedure and recovery as best as possible. Coming prepared with questions for your doctor and seeking support from your friends and family is a good place to start.

Your procedure

Understanding the surgery itself will help you to prepare mentally and physically for the operation. A mammaplasty is usually performed under general anesthetic and involves the surgeon removing excess breast tissue and skin, whilst reshaping the remaining breast tissue to create a smaller, firmer, and more elevated breast.

Every breast is unique, so whilst your surgeon can estimate the results of the procedure, the actual outcome is not something that can be absolutely guaranteed prior to surgery. Discussing your desired results openly and honestly with your surgeon allows you to set expectations and be best prepared for your experience during and after the procedure.

Your recovery

Following two or three hours of surgery, you should expect to wake with some pain, however, it will only last for a few days and should slowly taper down as you start to heal. In general, patients feel more relieved to be no longer experiencing pain from the weight of their breasts, that it makes the discomfort of surgery minimal.

Immediately after surgery you will experience swelling, with the majority reducing after two weeks. The full results of your procedure will be realised over the following six months. You will need to avoid showering for 48 hours and lay only on your back, this is usually when the ‘worst’ will be over.

In general, we suggest you will need to allow yourself six to eight weeks to fully recover from surgery and start resuming activities such as lifting heavy items. Usually, patients can resume light physical activity such as walking or stationary cycling at the four-week mark.

Your risks

With any surgery there are risks. A breast reduction is not a simple operation but is safe when performed by an experienced plastic surgeon. Your surgeon will share a comprehensive list of risks, including those you can assume come with any medical procedure. Key risks you may not have considered include:

  • Asymmetry or unevenness in the breasts
  • Temporary or permanent areas of numbness or changes in breast and nipple sensation
  • Breast feeding difficulty
  • Keloid or lumpy scar tissue, which is raised or irregularly shaped

When considering any procedure, it’s important to be as best informed as possible, to manage your expectations and understand any risk involved. If you are interested in discussing your personal circumstances further, get in touch with us or book a consultation with Dr. Mark Lee here.

As we experience another hot Australian summer, it seems only timely to consider the last time you had your skin checked. The sooner skin cancer it is detected and treated, the better, and taking note of your skin and what is normal for you is the best way to do so.

Schedule a regular check up

Melanoma is a potentially lethal cancer that fortunately, in many cases, develops in places that are visible for us to see if we take the time to look. The Cancer Council recommends all adults should check their skin and moles every three months and, particularly those at a higher risk, should visit their doctor for an annual check.

To perform a thorough self-exam, you’ll need a bright light, a full-length and hand mirror and if you have access, a blow dryer. Closely exam yourself from top to toe. Use the blow dryer to inspect your scalp, you may need help with this from a friend or family member to ensure you don’t miss any places. Don’t forget to check areas such as in between your fingers and toes, your underarms, the soles of your feet and your genitals.

Know what to look for

The most important thing to look for when performing a self-check is change. You are looking for any new spots that may have appeared, or changes to existing marks and moles. You may notice the surface of your mole becoming scaly, rough, or ulcerated or it may begin to itch, tingle, bleed, or weep. All are important signs to get checked.

It’s helpful to consider the Cancer Council’s ABCDE melanoma detection guide when performing a self-check.

  • A is for Asymmetry: Uneven spots that if a line was drawn through it’s middle, would not have mirroring sides
  • B is for Border: Flag any spots with an irregular edge or that appears to be spreading
  • C is for Colour: consistency is good, notice any blotchy spots with multiple colours like black, blue, red, white and/or grey
  • D is for Diameter: Are your spots growing or getting bigger?
  • E is for Evolving: Are your spots changing at all?

Consider your risk

There are skin types that are more sensitive to the harmful rays of the sun. You will notice you burn more quickly if that is the case and should consider self-examining or a booking doctor check-ups more frequently. Despite this, all skin types can be impacted by too much UV radiation, even though it may not present as sunburn. If you have naturally dark skin, with extra melanin providing natural UV protection, it is still important to keep an eye on your skin.

You may also be at a higher risk if you have a previous or family history of skin cancer, have lots of moles on your body, work outdoors, actively tan in the sun or solariums or you have a weakened immune system.

When in doubt, get checked. You can book in at a local skin clinic or ask your GP for a recommendation.

Learn more about staying sun safe here.

You know the drill – ‘slip, slop, slap, seek and slide’. Let’s narrow in on the ‘slop’. We know it is important to slop on your sunscreen, even on those cloudy days, and by now you probably understand the role it plays in protecting your skin against the effects of the sun, particularly here in Australia.

If you have ever found yourself in the beauty aisle of your local pharmacy or supermarket, searching for the perfect sunscreen, wondering where to even begin, we are here to help. We’ve listed some key things to look out for when choosing your sun protection.

The Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

This tells you how much UV gets to the skin, and you should aim for an SPF of at least 30, but preferably 50. That means just 1/50th or 2% of the UV rays can reach the skin, so go high!

Broad Spectrum Protection

Noticing this term on your bottle indicates your sunscreen’s ability to filter the full UV light spectrum, or the suns damaging rays. A broad spectrum sunscreen blocks both UVA rays, the ones that cause skin aging and melanoma causing DNA damage, as well as UVB rays which are responsible for most of the sunburn and DNA damage to the skin.

Water Resistance

While no sunscreen is completely waterproof, there are formulations that can hold on for longer when swimming, exercising or just sweating through the day, improving your chances of staying sun safe.

Chemical or Physical Sunscreen

You would be right in thinking there are chemicals in all sunscreens, but this actually refers to the type of protection offered in the formulation and how they treat UV rays.

Chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays and covert them to easily expendable heat. They tend to have a thinner formula, making them far easier to blend into the skin and providing a better option for darker skin types. These formulations are often paired with skin boosting chemicals like peptides, enzymes and vitamin C and tend to be more sweat or water resistant than the physical options. Keep in mind, these formulas could be quite irritating to sensitive skin types and do require at least 20 minutes on the skin before being effective.

Physical sunscreen on the other hand, creates a barrier that reflects UV rays off the skin. This formula is more widely recognised as ‘sunblock’ as it sits on top of the skin, rather than getting rubbed in. This means it’s far less likely to clog your pores, but it does also stay visible so you will need to find a tone to match your skin if you would like to avoid the white cast often associated with sunscreen wear. Physical sunscreens are immediately effective and are far less likely to irritate sensitive skin particularly if you look for zinc oxide instead of titanium oxide on the ingredients list.

If sensitive skin is not an issue, a combination of the two types can offer the best of both worlds. At the end of the day, finding a formula you like will mean you are far more likely to use it, so experiment with different types to suit your different needs.

Don’t forget that how much you apply is just as integral to sunscreen effectiveness. Don’t skimp on the quantity and frequency of sunscreen you apply. The general rule of thumb is to reapply every couple of hours, at least:

  • 1 teaspoon for head and neck
  • 2 teaspoons for the torso, front and back
  • 1 teaspoon per limb

Remember you cannot rely on sunscreen alone to protect you from the sun. For more ways to protect yourself from skin cancer, click here.

Please speak with your GP or specialist if you notice new or changing sunspots, moles or freckles.