Hand Surgery

Skin Cancers

Skin cancers are commonly seen in sun exposed areas of the body, including the back of the hand. Superficial solar keratoses may respond to the application of liquid nitrogen or dry ice by your GP or Dermatologist. Thickened precancerous solar keratoses and skin cancers will require surgical removal. The common skin cancers seen in the hand are Squamous Cell Carcinoma SCC, followed by Basal cell Carcinoma BCC. Malignant Melanoma is not so common as SCC and BCC, but is certainly important to recognise and treat.

Dr. Richard Hamilton is both an experienced hand surgeon and a plastic surgeon. He has been involved in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers and premalignant skin conditions for more than 20 years. At the initial consultation Dr Hamilton will carefully examine your hands and also carry out a full body check especially in the face, head and neck for malignant skin lesions. He will then devise a plan for removal of the offending lesions.

Treatment of Skin Cancers

The surgical treatment will depend on Dr. Hamilton’s assessment of the type of skin cancer, the size, the exact location on the hand or fingers and the pliability of the adjacent skin. Smaller lesions may be removed and the wound closed with stitches. Larger lesions and more malignant lesions will require a greater margin to clear all the cancer cells, and frequently require repair with a skin graft taken from the forearm or upper arm, or by using a local rearrangement of tissue called a skin flap.

All tissue is sent to the pathology laboratory to be examined by an experienced pathologist who works closely with Dr. Hamilton, to confirm the diagnosis and the complete of removal of the cancer.

After healing Dr Hamilton will closely monitor your progress for some months, or years, to monitor the probability of developing a second lesion in the future.