State of the art laser imaging, to provide remarkably detailed insight and reduce the need for a surgical biopsy.
The diagnostic device we use to literally look beneath your skin is a confocal, laser scanning microscope. The second of it’s type in the UK and the first in a private dermatology clinic.
Our consultants use the confocal microscope to see real time images of potential skin cancers, as well as inflammatory skin disease, at a cellular level.
A safe laser beam shines through your skin and reflects off tissue below the surface, highlighting the selected cells. Digital images are sent to a large screen for inspection and can be recorded.
Neither does the optical scanner need to be fixed to your skin. This is a handheld, easily manoeuvred device, ideal to access areas of your body which are awkward to reach.
Confocal Microscopy & Skin Cancer
Physical biopsy can be required on occasion but the whole point of the confocal microscope is to perform an optical biopsy. In practical terms, more like having an ultrasound scan than being under a scalpel.
The high resolution images produced mimic those a consultant would see of tissue under a microscope. Helping them identify and diagnose a wide range of skin cancers, from melanoma, to basal, or squamous cell carcinoma.
A key advantage is however the assistance confocal microscopy provides in diagnosing hard to see melanoma, a disease where prompt diagnosis can be critical. Diagnosing rare diseases, such as extramammary paget disease, is a further benefit.
Confocal microscopy also assists in post skin cancer treatment monitoring, without the discomfort of further diagnostic biopsies. With the number of procedures reduced, patients also tend to feel more positive about their care.
Technology Plus Knowledge
Our microscopy system is not dependent on computerised, pattern recognition software. The technology is there to produce a highly defined view of hidden tissue, the diagnosis remains in expert hands.
Experience is vital for correct diagnosis and treatment. Whilst computer programs have advanced, they are not a match for the skills of a skin cancer specialist.
This blend of state of the art equipment and dedicated knowledge helps ensure skin cancers are diagnosed at their earliest stage. A vital part of achieving a cure and reducing invasive treatment.
Confocal Microscopy In London
Patients at our London clinic seeking skin cancer treatment have easy access to confocal microscopy. Where this can help, your consultant will arrange a convenient appointment, which will not disrupt your day.
The procedure often just takes a few minutes, yet gives an immediate, cell by cell visualisation of skin areas, or areas beneath your skin.
Real time diagnosis is of significant value and is provided in a caring, thoughtful way. Should you not yet have seen a specialist and wish to know more, you are welcome to arrange a personal consultation.
Our consultants will explain how useful confocal microscopy is for a range of conditions. We still appreciate that many patients have read about the system’s ability to detect malignant melanoma. By all means look through further information:
- Melanoma in the UK – An overview of where we are, symptom management and a few myths dispelled.
- Total Body Dermoscopy – A state of the art combination of body imaging and digital dermoscopy.
- Mole Screening & Melanoma – A complete view of moles, your health and options such as mole mapping.
- Research & Guidelines – Details of an internationally recognised study and how our clinics match up.
- Melanoma Treatment – An accurate diagnosis is critical, although so is the level of treatment when required.