Malignant melanoma

Edinburgh Waterfront Hospital

At Waterfront Private Hospital, we specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. Our dedicated team, consisting of expert dermatologists and skilled plastic surgeons, is committed to providing exceptional care to patients diagnosed with this condition.

Malignant melanoma typically manifests as a new spot on the skin or a change in an existing mole, characterised by an alteration in colour, size, or shape. Early detection and treatment are vital for the best possible outcomes, as melanoma can spread rapidly to other parts of the body if not addressed promptly.

Regular skin examinations and awareness of changes in moles or skin lesions are key. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing thorough skin evaluations, accurate diagnoses, and effective treatment options for malignant melanoma, ensuring the best possible care for our patients.

melanoma removal edinburgh



    30-60 minutes
    Walk in walkout
    0-1 week off work

Understanding malignant melanoma

Malignant melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that originates in the melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing melanin, the pigment that gives skin its colour. It is the most aggressive type of skin cancer and, if not diagnosed and treated early, can spread rapidly to other parts of the body and become life-threatening.

Key Characteristics of Malignant Melanoma:

  • Appearance: Melanomas can develop from existing moles or appear as new growths. They are often irregular in shape and have uneven colouring, including shades of black, brown, tan, red, blue, or white.
  • ABCDE Rule: The asymmetry, border irregularity, colour variation, diameter (usually larger than 6mm, about the size of a pencil eraser), and evolving nature of a mole or skin lesion are critical indicators of melanoma.
  • Common Sites: While melanoma can occur anywhere on the skin, it is most commonly found on the back in men and on the legs in women. It can also develop on the neck, face, and, less commonly, on the palms, soles, and under the nails.
private skin surgery benign skin lesions

Malignant melanoma treatment options

Our clinic offers specialised dermatology and plastic surgery services for treating malignant melanoma, focusing on precise diagnosis and effective surgical intervention. Our experienced dermatologists and skilled plastic surgeons work in tandem to ensure comprehensive care tailored to each patient’s condition.

Dermatology Treatment Options:

  • Diagnostic Biopsy: The first step in melanoma treatment is accurate diagnosis. Our dermatologists perform biopsies of suspicious skin lesions to determine the presence of melanoma. This involves carefully removing a portion or all of the lesion for pathological examination.
  • Wide Local Excision: Following a melanoma diagnosis, wide local excision removes the entire tumour and a normal tissue margin. This margin is essential to ensure the complete removal of melanoma cells and reduce the risk of recurrence.

Plastic Surgery Options:

  • Reconstructive Surgery: Our plastic surgeons play a crucial role following wide excisions. They employ advanced reconstructive techniques, including skin grafts and local flaps, to repair the surgical site. This is especially important for lesions removed from cosmetically sensitive areas like the face, neck, or hands.
  • Aesthetic Considerations: We prioritise not only the health but also the appearance of our patients. Our plastic surgeons are adept at minimising scarring and achieving aesthetically pleasing results, ensuring the best functional and cosmetic outcomes post-surgery.

Our multidisciplinary approach combines rigorous medical treatment with an emphasis on aesthetic restoration. From the initial diagnostic biopsy to the final stages of surgical recovery, we provide a patient-centred experience, ensuring each individual receives optimal care and support throughout their melanoma treatment journey.

Further reading:

BAPRAS – Melanoma

BAD – Melanoma

Frequently asked questions

What Is Melanoma and Why Is Early Detection Crucial?

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer originating in the melanocytes, cells that produce pigment and colour skin. Early detection is crucial because melanoma can spread rapidly to other body parts, making treatment more challenging. At Waterfront Hospital, our skilled dermatologists and surgeons are experts in identifying and treating melanoma at its earliest stages, offering patients the best possible outcomes.

How Do Surgeons at Waterfront Hospital Diagnose Melanoma?

Diagnosis begins with a thorough skin examination. If a lesion is suspected to be melanoma, our surgeons perform a biopsy, removing a small tissue sample for microscopic analysis. This procedure is critical for accurately diagnosing melanoma and planning the appropriate course of treatment.

What Surgical Options Are Available for Melanoma Treatment at Waterfront Hospital?

Our surgical options for melanoma treatment include wide excision, where the tumour and a margin of surrounding tissue are removed to ensure no cancer cells remain. For more advanced melanoma, additional treatments may be necessary. Our surgeons are trained in the latest surgical techniques, ensuring effective treatment and optimal cosmetic results.

How Does Wide Excision Surgery Work, and What Can Patients Expect?

Wide excision is a surgical procedure that removes the melanoma along with a margin of healthy tissue around it to reduce the risk of recurrence. The margin’s size depends on the melanoma’s thickness and location. Patients can expect a surgical consultation to discuss the procedure, anaesthesia, recovery, and post-operative care. Our team ensures every patient receives personalised care tailored to their specific needs. Are there Any Non-Surgical Treatments for Melanoma Available at Waterfront Hospital?

While surgery is the primary treatment for early-stage melanoma, for certain patients, additional treatments such as targeted therapy or immunotherapy may be recommended based on the cancer’s characteristics. Our multidisciplinary team works together to provide a comprehensive treatment plan that may include non-surgical options when appropriate.

How Can Patients Minimise Their Risk of Developing Melanoma

Minimising melanoma risk involves protecting the skin from excessive sun exposure and avoiding indoor tanning. We recommend using broad-spectrum sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and seeking shade during peak sun hours. Regular skin self-examinations and professional skin checks are also crucial for the early detection of melanoma and other skin cancers.

What Is the Follow-Up Care Like After Melanoma Surgery?

Follow-up care is a critical component of melanoma treatment. After surgery, patients will have scheduled visits to monitor healing, check for signs of recurrence, and manage any side effects from treatment. Our team provides guidance on skin care, sun protection, and lifestyle adjustments to support recovery and reduce the risk of melanoma recurrence.

What Role Does Plastic Surgery Play in Melanoma Treatment at Waterfront Hospital?

In the treatment of melanoma, especially when located in highly visible areas such as the face, neck, or arms, plastic surgery plays a vital role in not only removing the cancerous cells but also in reconstructing the area to achieve the best possible cosmetic outcome. Our plastic surgeons work closely with oncologists to ensure that treatments are effective for cancer removal and aesthetically mindful, helping patients maintain their appearance and confidence post-surgery.

Can Melanoma Recur After Treatment, and How Is Recurrence Managed?

While effective treatment significantly reduces the risk, melanoma can recur. Waterfront Hospital monitors patients closely after treatment through regular skin exams and, if necessary, additional imaging tests. If melanoma does recur, our team is prepared to implement a comprehensive treatment plan that may include further surgery, radiation, or systemic treatments depending on the recurrence’s nature and location.

What Are The Costs Associated with Melanoma Surgery?

Understanding the financial implications of melanoma treatment is important for our patients. At Waterfront Hospital, we strive to provide clear and upfront information about treatment costs to help you make informed decisions:

  • Direct Excision Surgery: The cost for a direct excision of melanoma starts from £1495. This procedure involves surgically removing the melanoma along with a margin of normal skin and is primarily used for early-stage melanomas.
  • Excision and Reconstruction: For cases where melanoma is removed from a larger or cosmetically sensitive area, requiring reconstructive surgery to restore the appearance, prices start from £2195. This includes the removal of the melanoma and the subsequent reconstruction, which may involve skin grafts or local flaps to achieve the best possible aesthetic outcome.

Why Do Costs Vary for Melanoma Treatment?

The cost of melanoma treatment can vary based on several factors, including the melanoma’s size and location, the complexmelanoma’s surgery, and the specific reconstructive techniques used. Our team of specialists at Waterfront Hospital is committed to providing personalised care and tailoring personalised plans to the patient’s unique needs. We provide detailed estimates following an initial consultation and diagnosis, ensuring you have all the necessary information to proceed confidently.

How Can I Get an Accurate Estimate for My Melanoma Treatment?

The best way to receive an accurate cost estimate for melanoma treatment is to schedule an initial consultation with our specialists. After a thorough examination and assessment, we can provide a detailed breakdown of the costs associated with your personalised treatment plan. We’re committed to personalised transparency and will Ensure you have all the information needed to make an informed decision about your care.

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0131 376 3785


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