We are delighted to have expert skin Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Ms Jennifer O’Neill, join the team at Purity Bridge. Ms O’Neill is part of the specialist skin cancer team at the renowned Queen Victoria Hospital, in East Grinstead, and also sits on the skin “MDT” (multi-disciplinary team). Her practice includes surgery on a wide range of skin lesions, as well as the more complex reconstructive operations required. By way of introduction, and in order to get to know a bit more about her professional background, we met up with Ms O’Neill to find out more:
What do you find most rewarding about treating patients with skin cancer?
Being able to reassure and help patients when it comes to treating skin lesions is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Patients are also frequently pleasantly surprised with the great looking results of a surgery, which is quick, easy and practically pain free.
Can you carry out most of your operations and treatments with your patients awake?
The vast majority of our procedures to remove lesions are done without a general anaesthetic in a relaxed and friendly environment.
Does having a mole or skin lesion removed hurt?
The injections at the beginning to numb the area can cause a stinging sensation. After that it is usually quite comfortable but you may feel some gentle pulling while the lesion is removed.
What is the “MDT” for skin cancer?
MDT stands for Multi Disciplinary Team – I am a core member of the Kent MDT. We meet once a week to discuss management of skin cancer cases as a group of specialists. The MDT is made up of consultant specialists in Plastic Surgery, Dermatology, Oncology, Radiology, Pathology as well as the specialist nurses and co-ordinators.
What advice do you give your patients to get the best scar possible?
I give my patients a wound care advice sheet – this advises when the stitches need to be removed and how to look after the area in the initial healing period. We will talk about keeping the wound as tension free as possible, which may involved some reduced activity.
Once the wound has healed over and the scar is maturing, It is important to keep the area moisturised and to protect it from the sun. There is some evidence suggesting that using silicone gel may prevent problematic scarring.
Do you need medical insurance to be treated by you?
No! I do see insured patients as I am registered as a provider with the insurers (and fee assured) but it is possible to self-pay too.
Purity Bridge has a price list for self pay patients as a guide to the fees for procedures performed there. If you would like to discuss a particular procedure please do contact our team!