• State-of-the-art skin cancer treatment clinic launches in Hawke's Bay

State-of-the-art skin cancer treatment clinic launches in Hawke's Bay

Moving the family halfway across the world and setting up a new state-of-the-art dermatological practice in just one year has been no easy feat for specialist dermatologist and reconstructive surgeon Dr Juber Hafiji.

On Wednesday, he thanked those who had supported him as he developed his dream into reality.

He told the assembled crowd that he and Shahin, who had moved from the United Kingdom almost exactly a year ago, “truly appreciate the new family that has gathered around to support us on this journey”.

He thanked those who had encouraged him to set up the practice and supported him over the many months it took to set up the clinic; from importing the state-of-the-art medical equipment and finding the right highly-trained and empathetic team members, to preparing day operating theatres and the specialised laboratory.

Dermatology Hawke’s Bay, located with the Napier Health Centre, offers the 'gold standard' in skin cancer treatment.

Dr Juber Hafiji is a fully accredited UK-trained specialist dermatologist, skin cancer specialist, and reconstructive surgeon: Cambridge University Hospital (UK); American College of Mohs Surgery. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (UK); Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and Member of the New Zealand Dermatological Society. 

The practice represents a major investment in dermatological services in Hawke’s Bay, including an on-site laboratory that allows same-day analysis of skin cancer results, and day-theatre rooms.

Those components allow Mohs Micrographic Surgery to be used to treat suitable skin cancers. Until now, this option has not been available in Hawke’s Bay.

“It means we are able, with certain types of skin cancer, to remove the visible part of the cancer a thin layer at a time, taking just a very small margin of healthy skin with it,” Dr Hafiji said.

“We immediately check the outer margins of the removed skin in our laboratory to confirm that we have removed all of the cancer. We continue to carry out that process until all of the cancer is removed.”

The very precise surgical technique has several advantages.

“The first is that we don’t remove any more skin than we absolutely have to, keeping the wound as small and as shallow as possible. That gives a much better cosmetic result. A second advantage is that our patient’s surgery and analysis are completed on one day, which means they don’t have to wait a week for results and potentially having to come back for further surgery.”

The launch of Dermatology Hawke’s Bay, which treats all manner of skin, hair and nail conditions, coincided with the unveiling of its new website, designed to reflect the ethos of the practice and its team.

“My goal, and that of all of our team members, is very simple – to treat our patients as I would like myself or my family to be treated,” Dr Hafiji said.