The Skin Cancer Center
The Skin Cancer Center at
Harbor Plastic Surgery Center
11511 Canterwood Blvd NW, Suite 310
Gig Harbor, WA 98332
Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 8am – 4pm
Occasional Monday clinics
Harbor Plastic Surgery Center and Covid-19 (Coronavirus) - Updated May 26, 2021
We had the privilege of administering over 1000 vaccines to healthcare workers, educators and people over 65 and people living in multigenerational homes. Our staff joyfully put in extra hours before and after work and on weekends to serve in this capacity but at this time, because vaccines are readily available at all pharmacies in our area, we are no longer offering vaccines.
We have prudently watched data coming out of the scientific community and are pleased with the latest recommendations out of the CDC. Because the vaccine has been proven to be so effective against Covid-19, we have updated our Covid policies. For patients and family members who are fully vaccinated, we no longer require additional screening at the door or testing prior to surgery. For unvaccinated, we will take temperatures and ask screening questions and recommend a Covid test prior to surgery. We continue to use our Quidel Sofia 2 SARS Antigen testing machine for this purpose.
Due to CDC and Washington state guidelines, masks are still required for everyone at all times in our facility, regardless of vaccine status.
We are continuing to allow complimentary screening of any concerning skin leasions. If you have a lesion on your skin that is growing or changing, please contact us. You can text a picture, along with your name and a description of your concerns to Dr. Piasecki at (253) 509-4438 or send him a text and he'll send you a link to our secure texting app. If he believes you should come in for a biopsy, we'll set up an appointment in our office.
We are also continuing telemedicine consultations and follow up visits for anyone who does not want to come to the office. These are done through a secure app and have worked well throughout the pandemic. Call our office to schedule a consult.
For patients coming to our office, here's an overview of what to expect:
- All elective surgical patients who are not fully vaccinated will be required to either bring a negative covid test report that has been taken in the last 72 hours, or have a test performed in our center prior to surgery. Testing for self pay patients is $50. It is covered by a vast majority of insurance providers.
- We will not cancel skin cancer surgery or other medically necessary cases in the event that a patient refuses testing, but it is highly recommended.
- Anyone testing positive will be asked to quarantine for 14 days and show a negative Covid test prior to surgery.
- Patients are allowed one friend/family member (chaperone).
- Anyone entering our facility who is not fully vaccinated will be screened at our front door. Any unvaccinated person with Covid symptoms or a temperature >99.6 F will not be admitted to the center and will be given additional instructions/guidance on next steps in the best interest of their health.
- Chaperones may receive a Covid test if they would like. In order to do so, we will create a medical record and ask for insurance to bill for the test.
- All patients/chaperones and staff members are required to wear a mask when within 6 ft of one of our staff members.
- Only two patient/chaperone pairs are allowed in the reception area at a time (maximum of 4 people).
- Each patient/chaperone is given a private isolated room for the duration of their visit in our center.
- We have removed frequently touched objects - magazines, pamphlets, pens, etc
- Common use areas are disinfected 3 times per day.
- Patient care rooms’ “Touch Surfaces” – door handles, counter tops, armrests, pens/clipboards, even shade adjustment handles – are disinfected after every use.
- EPA approved disinfectants shown to kill viruses (including coronaviruses) is specifically used.
Statistics show more than two million people in the United States will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year, and 20% of all Americans will develop a skin cancer in their lifetime. Both alarming figures that have been on a steady climb and expected to continue to increase.
The only definitive way to diagnose skin cancer is with a biopsy. If you have a spot that looks suspicious and would like a plastic surgeon to biopsy it, call us. We offer same or next day biopsy appointments with results within 2 business days of the biopsy.
The Skin Cancer Center utilizes the Mayo Clinic model of treatment in which a cohesive network of medical specialists provides comprehensive skin cancer care. Patients have access to a team of specialists that can determine a personalized, case-specific plan of treatment including:
- Liquid Nitrogen – Topical application used to destroy to a non-melanoma lesion and its immediate surrounding tissue.
- ED&C (electrodessication and curettage) – Skin cancer cells are scraped away using a curette instrument then treated with an electrode current while electric current to destroy any remaining skin cancer cells.
- Simple Excision – Removal of a skin cancer and its surrounding margin then closed with stitches. Larger incisions may require a skin graft, flap, or reconstructive surgery.
- Radiation Therapy – High-energy rays used to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors. The beam of electrons is focused from outside the body onto the tumor directly.
- Mohs Surgery – Micrographically controlled surgery providing precise removal of cancerous tissue, sparing surrounding healthy tissue for maximum functional and cosmetic results. Excised tissue is examined immediately until adequate uninvolved margins have been achieved.
- Plastic Micrographic Surgery – A proprietary procedure pioneered by Dr. Justin Piasecki in which the same surgeon, trained in Mohs surgery and board certified in facial plastic surgery and plastic surgery, removes the cancer with Mohs surgery, then reconstructs using both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery techniques. For patients who require reconstruction after Mohs surgery, this is the most convenient and cost effective method.
- Lymph Node Dissection – Nodes located in the region of the primary melanoma are removed then viewed under a microscope for signs of cancer.
The extensive network of providers at The Skin Cancer Center include:
- Puget Sound Institute of Pathology
- Tacoma Radiation Oncology
- Franciscan Surgical Associates
- Harbor Plastic Surgery Center
About our Center and its Founder
The Skin Cancer Center is conveniently located in the quaint Tacoma suburb of Gig Harbor, an hour from Seattle and 45 minutes from Sea-Tac Airport. Map and Directions.
Patients come to our center from all over the world for our innovative, comprehensive skin cancer treatment approach. Our patient concierge services can help you with anything from planning your visit to our maritime community to transportation and home care following surgery.
Housed within Harbor Plastic Surgery Center adjacent to St. Anthony Hospital, The Skin Cancer Center has a Medicare-certified ambulatory surgery center, which allows patients to have reconstructive surgery following their Mohs surgery (cancer excision) on the same day in the same outpatient setting.
The Harbor Plastic Surgery Center Ambulatory Surgery Center is accredited by AAAHC, the most stringent deeming agency for surgery centers. This accreditation underscores the Center’s commitment to patient safety and continuous quality improvement.
The Skin Cancer Center was founded by Dr. Justin Piasecki, world-renowned surgeon double-Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, who has dedicated his professional life to improving the care of skin cancer patients.
Dr. Piasecki also holds the distinct honor of being a skin cancer removal specialist as a member of the Mohs College. There is no Board Certification in Mohs surgery, however being a member of the Mohs College has similar requirements to Board Certification in other sub-specialties and is the highest level of certification available for Mohs surgery.
Mohs micrographic surgery was developed in the 1930’s by Dr. Frederick Mohs and is revered as the most precise and effective technique for removing Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Mohs surgery provides a 99.25% cure rate as cancerous cells are completely removed leaving behind the smallest possible wound and maximum amount of healthy tissue. Dr. Piasecki’s specialized Mohs training and two plastic surgery certifications led him to develop Plastic Micrographic Surgery, combining both methods for the most effective and cosmetically pleasing treatment of skin cancer available.
Dr. Piasecki’s passion for the prevention of skin cancer led him to develop a non-profit line of beneficial skin care products. Proceeds are donated to organizations that provide opportunities for children in the areas of education, health and wellness.