Making a mountain out of my mole hole

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    120

    Making a mountain out of my mole hole

    A few weeks ago I became concerned about how a small mole had darkened, and went to the GP who said I should show it to a specialist. I went off with my referral to a Quality Health Care dermatologist who had treated my son last year and we had been very pleased.

    He said the mole should come off, and that there was a second one which should probably come out as well, although the first one was the most worrying. Sure, fine, I said. Then he told me the cost.

    $680 for the consultation
    $4500 for EACH excision
    $600 for each set of lab fees.

    I pointed out that I could fly home to Australia and have my old GP remove them both for less than that. He laughed and said I probably could. He told me that only two dermatologists are certified in HK each year, and that the demand for dermatologists should not determine how many are certified, that they have to be highly trained. I called my GP and begged him to take them out. He said that in HK a GP will rarely cut out a mole and if he does it will cost $3000, so the specialist isn't that expensive really. He also said that specialists charge more depending on how well qualified they are. Silly me. I went for London-trained guy - I should have found someone with more of a Shenzhen-style education...

    I asked him if I would die if the second mole wasn't removed until Christmas when I go home. He said I would probably be all right, but to come back and he'll look at it again before I go. The whole episode was surreal. He kept talking about my mole removal as an 'operation' and could I wait in reception until an 'operating theatre' was available. My 'operation' lasted about five minutes.

    I had to go back three days later, for test results and to rechange the dressing. (It's about half a centimetre long - three close stitches on my outer upper arm) The nurse said she would copy my lab report (which was okay) after my 'procedure' which was three minutes while the doctor ripped off the transparent square, dabbed on some antiseptic, a tiny bit of antibiotic cream, and a new transparent square on top. Silly me - I thought this follow up might have been included in the initial consultion/excision, but no! It was another $680 for about five minutes.

    I am not going back for my stitches removal. I've taken my own out before, and I'll do that or I'll ask a nurse friend. I won't pay another $680 for two minutes!!! My health insurance will take two months to reimburse part of the cost. There must be an alternative!

    Where do locals go for small excisions? Where do smarter expats than I am go? There must be a better way!

    Thanks for reading my rant!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Sai Ying Pun
    Posts
    542

    I had a mole removed years ago because my GF made me!

    It cost me 2 weeks off work and 2 weeks worth of wages!! the wound also got infected and the scar never healed.. the incision they cut in my arm was big enough to place a flat 20cent HK IN the hole they made..

    I think its fair to say.. unless you REALLY need it removed.. dont!

    Get it done when you go home, thats what I would do and home for me is the UK!


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    120

    That is horrific, Kenbo! I'm sorry to hear about your ordeal. What a nightmare. I have heard of people flying to Bangkok for small procedures, and I think I will find out about hospitals in Shenzhen too, for the future.

    I hope it healed up eventually.