Mole Map - Frequently Asked Questions

Who needs MoleMap?

Everyone can benefit from MoleMap. In particular you should consider it if you:

  • have many moles
  • have any moles that look odd or irregular
  • have moles that are changing in size or colour
  • have itchy moles
  • or any one in your family has had skin cancer
  • have a history of severe sunburns in early life
  • are fair skinned and have light coloured eyes
  • often spend time outdoors
  • have used sunbeds in the past

What's the difference between MoleMap and other skin cancer screening clinics?

Guidelines for melanoma say that the best way to detect skin cancer early is by using Total Body Photography, dermoscopy (magnified inspection of skin lesions) and sequential dermoscopy (monitoring of moles over time). MoleMap is the only service that uses these three requirements along with specialist dermatologist diagnosis as a standard for all patients.

MoleMap technology is very thorough. All of your skin lesions are captured and stored on file so that we can accurately monitor how your moles change over time. This ability to track moles over time enables our dermatologists to pick up any changes that may be cause for concern and/or require further investigation. These subtle changes can often be overlooked when checked with the naked eye, especially when there is no historical reference point as to how your skin looked before.

What can I expect at my first appointment?

Your appointment will be at Brighton Plastic Surgery. You will meet our friendly skin cancer nurse specialist. She will perform a full body Mole Map. which includes a thorough examination of your skin, Total Body Photography and an in-depth analysis and imaging of your moles to create a baseline of what's normal for you. The experience takes about one hour and is painless. If you only have one or two moles that you are concerned about we also offer a Spot Check Service.

Who diagnoses my MoleMap?

Your MoleMap is diagnosed by an expert dermatologist. Both you and your doctor will receive a comprehensive report complete with photographs and dermatologist recommendations for the treatment or monitoring of any suspicious lesions. If any suspicious lesions need treatment your GP can refer you to Mr Keith Mutimer or Mr Ramin Shayan, who both specialise in skin lesions and are able to operate here at Brighton Plastic Surgery.

How long does it take?

The full-body MoleMap procedure is very thorough and the initial consultation usually takes 60 minutes. Occasionally a second appointment is required where there are a large number of moles to image. Follow-up MoleMaps usually require a half hour appointment. You can attend all these appointments at Brighton Plastic Surgery.

Is it safe? Does it hurt?

The MoleMap procedure is non-invasive and does not hurt. The procedure is also safe for pregnant women.

When can I expect my results?

A copy of your diagnosis report will be sent to both you and your doctor within 10 working days. Your report includes images of specific lesions, dermatologist comments and recommendations for the treatment or monitoring of suspicious lesions and a suggested follow-up program.

What will happen if something suspicious shows up?

Your general practitioner or referring doctor will decide on the appropriate course of action based on the dermatologist recommendations and organise the treatment as necessary. It is important that you contact your doctor immediately to organise an appointment if you require treatment. Mr Mutimer and Mr Shayan can be contacted for appointments on 03 9592 0522, please mention that you have a MoleMap report at the time of booking.

How often do I need a MoleMap?

This depends on your level of risk assessed during your first MoleMap visit - the dermatologist reviewing your images will provide a recommendation in your report. The majority of patients are recommended to have annual MoleMaps to track any skin changes over time.

What will happen to my MoleMap records if I move out of the area?

The images will continue to be stored in our confidential, central database and can be accessed from other MoleMap clinics if required. This means you can continue to be active in monitoring your moles by going to your nearest MoleMap clinic. If you see Mr Mutimer or Mr Shayan following your MoleMap, a copy of your MoleMap record will also be on file at Brighton Plastic Surgery.

Is it 100% accurate?

By combining tools that are proven to help detect early melanoma (Total Body Photography, Digital Dermoscopy and Digital Sequential Monitoring) with the skills of expert dermatologists MoleMap is doing everything possible to detect melanoma, however, no method of assessment can provide a 100% guarantee of the detection of melanoma. It is therefore important to continue having regular clinical examinations with your doctor or specialist to ensure that a holistic approach is being taken to help identify melanoma and other skin cancers as early as possible.

How much does it cost?

The cost varies depending on what procedure you have. A list of procedures and accompanying prices can be found on our blog.

Does MoleMap remove moles?

No. MoleMap prides itself on the accurate diagnosis of skin cancer and therefore aims to minimise any unnecessary excisions of benign lesions. Should further treatment be required after your Mole Mapping has taken place, you will be directed back to your referring GP. Your GP will then refer you to Mr Mutimer or My Shayan for prompt treatment of any suspicious lesions.

What happens at a follow-up appointment?

The follow-up procedure is similar to the initial consultation although it generally does not require additional body shot images (Total Body Photography). A thorough skin check is undertaken and previous lesions imaged along with any new ones that have appeared. The greatest benefit about the follow-up appointment is we can compare the latest images of your lesions with those captured during your previous visit and this is where MoleMap really kicks in. Having a history of your skin enables our dermatologist to identify and monitor the subtlest changes over time (changes that may not have been identified during a one off consultation) and this helps to identify melanoma at an even earlier stage. The unique follow-up consultation provides you with the assurance that we are doing everything possible to identify this potentially deadly form of cancer.

How do I book an appointment?

Booking an appointment is easy – just phone 1800 MOLEMAP (1800 665 362).

What should I wear to the appointment?

Brief underwear is best for the MoleMap procedure. You will be provided with a gown for a more comfortable experience. Limiting make-up, including nail polish will also ensure we are able to get the most comprehensive record of your skin.

Will my procedure be covered by health insurance?

Some of the private health insurances cover the service. It is best to check your health insurance policy or call your health insurance provider to determine whether they will cover the cost of the procedure. There is no item number, but when calling quote "melanoma surveillance imaging", as this is the wording generally used.

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