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The Skin Cancer Center

The Skin Cancer Center at
Harbor Plastic Surgery Center
11511 Canterwood Blvd NW, Suite 310
Gig Harbor, WA 98332
Fax: 888.843.2412

Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 8am – 4pm
             Occasional Monday clinics

Harbor Plastic Surgery Center and Covid-19 (Coronavirus) - March 22, 2020 Update

Under the direction of Governor Inslee's office and the Washington State Department of Health, Harbor Plastic Surgery Center will remain open to treat skin cancer patients.  We will postpone cosmetic appointments and procedures until further notice.  We and the Department of Health believe that due to extreme precautions we are taking, patients and staff are safe in our facility.  However, out of an abundance of caution, to limit traffic through our facility, we will move as many office visits to remote consultations via FaceTime or Skype.

We understand that many dermatology practices are closing and that primary care physicians are rightly focused on respiratory illnesses.  If you have a lesion on your skin that is growing or changing, please contact us.  You can text a picture 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.

Our team is elite but small. We are designed around one physician so although each team member is highly trained, the number of total potential patient exposures is very limited.  Which makes us ahead of the curve compared to a typical hospital. 

This also allows us to be extremely adaptable – and we have instituted additional aggressive control measures on top of what we already do.  They are based around science, data and common sense, not fear. 

To contract a virus, the virus needs to enter your body.  For that to happen, you would need to come into contact with the virus.

The most likely scenario for this to happen would be to come into contact with a sick person, and have the virus leave their body and enter yours.  Social distancing, as it’s called, is the strategy for preventing this.  The second most likely scenario to contract this virus is to pick it up on surfaces touched by someone else who had the virus – and then touching your face (which can permit the virus to enter your body through your nose, mouth or less likely the eyes). 

Extra Precautions We Are Taking:

Limiting contact

  • We will be screening at our front door.  Any person with respiratory symptoms or a temperature >99.6 F will not be admitted to the center (staff, patient or family member) and will be given additional instructions/guidance on next steps in the best interest of their health. 
  • Social distancing within the center will also be employed:  we have structured our scheduling times to minimize check in overlap with other patients; have adjusted patient rooming protocols (each patient and accompanying family member(s)) will be given private isolated rooms for the duration of their visit in our center); and when staff members are within 6 ft of a patient, will be wearing masks.

Additional sanitation

  • We have removed frequently touched objects - magazines, pamphlets, pens, etc
  • Common use areas are disinfected hourly
  • Patient care rooms’ “Touch Surfaces” – door handles, counter tops, armrests, pens/clipboards, even shade adjustment handles – will be disinfected after every use. 
  • EPA approved disinfectants shown to kill viruses (including coronaviruses) is specifically used. 

Cancer doesn’t wait for coronavirus, but – at least at our center – we feel confident you can get the high level of care you want in a one stop shop, with the safety you need.

If you have a spot that you are concerned about, please text Dr. Piasecki at 253-509-4438.  Primary care offices are flooded with patients with flu and cold symptoms, so we see this as a service we’re offering to keep otherwise healthy people out of their waiting rooms.  He will send you a secure link and you can send a picture.  If it’s something that is of concern, we’ll bring you in within 2 days so we can have answers.

Skin Cancer

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:

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.