Loading Symposiums


We cater for beginners and seasoned practitioners in this dynamic course. The simple ellipse forms the backbone of office based procedures. It is essential we all do this well. But, for those more experienced you can learn whatever cutaneous surgical procedure you want to.

The course is taught by leading surgeons and GP Skin Cancer specialists. Novices and seasoned GP surgeons will have the opportunity to learn many invaluable tips and tricks. All participants will receive a free surgical kit with sutures to take home (to practice/hone your skills on). Our tutors are without doubt approachable and enthusiastic and will ensure you build a solid foundation. The non surgical/medical treatments options will be discussed in the morning lectures.

All participants will receive a free surgical kit with sutures to take home and practise on.

Dr Andrew MacGill (Convenor)
FRNZCGP, GP Skin Cancer with Special Interest

Video of our 2018 Surgical Course

Here is a short video from our very well attended (and reviewed) surgical course, special thank you for Mr Richard Martin, Ms Katherine Gale, Mr William McMillan and our other expert tutors! We teach the basics to advanced skills. For those who seek advanced flaps learning, we put you together in a group where you will receive individualized tuition from our expert tutors.

Key Information

Location: Whenua Pupuke Clinical Skills Center

Address: North Shore Hospital, 124 Shakespeare Road, Takapuna, Auckland

Date: Sunday 1st March 2020

Parking: Complimentary

CME Credits: The “ Skin Cancer Symposium” has been endorsed by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) and has been approved for up to 6.00 CME credits for the General Practice Educational Programme (GPEP) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) purposes.

Our Speakers

Ms Katherine Gale
Breast & Melanoma Surgeon

Katherine is one of a few female specialist oncoplastic breast surgeons in New Zealand who practice all aspects of breast oncology and reconstruction. An expert in minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment methods for all types of breast disease and, following a breast cancer diagnosis, she can offer a full range of partial and whole breast reconstruction. Katherine believes in offering evidence based research to patients when tailoring a surgical solution, and has done extensive research in both breast oncology and reconstruction.

Dr Kasia Mackenzie
Plastic Surgeon
FRACS(Plast), PhD (Skin Cancer)

Dr Mackenzie is a plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon. Dr Mackenzie received her medical doctor degree from the Medical University of Warsaw. She subsequently moved to New Zealand and underwent training in plastic surgery in Christchurch and Auckland, culminating in the award of full accreditation in Plastic Surgery by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, FRACS(Plast) in 2015. Dr Mackenzie then trained extensively both in the UK and internationally and undertook a number of prestigious fellowships over three years, working alongside world leaders in both plastic and hand surgery.

Dr Andrew Macgill
Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of GP, GPwSI

Andrew is a GP who has had a special interest in medical and surgical management of skin cancer since 1998. As of 2015 after 25 years as a GP in New Zealand he has become a full-time skin cancer doctor. He is completing a Master’s in dermatoscopy at the Medical University of Graz, Austria. He has also undergone additional training in cutaneous surgery here in New Zealand and in San Diego.  He is highly experienced and meticulous with all forms of cutaneous surgery and has been using complex flaps and full thickness grafts for many years. His philosophy is to educate and ensure awareness of the dangers of skin cancers.

Dr Chris Boberg
Deputy Chair Melnet NZ. Chair of New Zealand Skin Cancer Doctors.

Chris is a GP with a longstanding interest in skin cancer. He has been in full-time practice as a skin cancer doctor since 2011. He has numerous qualifications in skin cancer including Advanced Skin Cancer Surgery (Queensland). Advanced Dermatosopy (Graz University, Austria).  He is the Deputy Chair of Melnet New Zealand and the Chair of New Zealand Skin Cancer Doctors. As one of New Zealand’s leading skin cancer experts he has been a strong advocate for skin cancer prevention and treatment.

Dr Martin Denby
Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of GP, GPwSI

Martin is a Fellow of the New Zealand College of General Practitioners (FRNZCGP). He was completed two short courses in Australia in 2010, Skin Cancer Surgery and Advanced Dermoscopy (early diagnosis of skin cancers under the microscope). He then underwent a further 4 years post-graduate study, completing a Masters Degree in Skin Cancer from the University of Queensland in 2014. He is an affiliated skin cancer provider for Southern Cross Healthcare and performs skin cancer surgery for Waitemata District Health Board. He is also on the Dermatological Subcommittee for PTAC (Pharmac’s primary clinical advisory committee).

Our Full Programme

We reserve the right to alter the course to maximize your education

Sunday 1st March 2020 – Certificate of Medical and Surgical Management of Skin Cancer Workshop

This brief talk will cover the pertinent points in history taking, note taking and run through documenting a systematic skin examination. Dr Chris Boberg.

An up to date review of the medical management of non melanoma skin cancers. Dr Chris Boberg.

1. Knot tying – instrument ties – made easy
Often, even experienced doctors can easily do a slip knot by mistake –
we discuss how to avoid this common error
2. Methods to make an excellent cosmetic outcome
a Contouring – matching layers and surface continunity
b The importance of wound eversion.
c Suture choice – Absorbable /Nonabsorbable/ monofilament


d Ellipse orientation – importance of Natural Skin Tension Lines

in alignment of the ellipse and flaps (NSTLs)

3. When and where to biopsy and when not to biopsy. – Melanoma
4. Local Anaesthetic Tips – go for an almost painless patient

Dr Andrew MacGill

1. What operations – where 15 min – Quick review of the preferred surgical approaches in certain anatomical areas – Face, Limbs, Trunk and Chest
2. Risk Management : 30 min – High risk areas and high risk lesions – when to refer

1. High risk areas: Anatomy :10 min
Review of fundamental anatomy to ensure you avoid nerve or vascular
damage. ( T zone face /angle jaw/ central Cheek / Erbs point etc)
2. Fundamentals and principles of Flaps – “Robbing Peter to Pay
Paul” – (5min)
3. Fundamentals of and principles Grafts – Split /Full thickness
4 High-risk lesions: 20 min – Areas to cover:

When to refer:
Histological markers – Moderate – Poorly Differentiated / Perineural
invasion / Mitosis / Close margins etc
Appropriate margins and follow up.
1. High risk facial and scalp NMSC
2. SCC /BCC/ Melanoma
3. Other – e.g. Merkel cell cancer
4. Highlight Melanoma Standards and the current Melanoma excision
5. When to refer Melanoma for SNL with re excision. (breslow depth 1mm or greater)

In this talk intra-operative complications and optimum after care is discussed:

  • Avoiding common complications
    • Avoid dehiscence
    • Avoiding infections
  • When is the optimum time to remove sutures? (is longer than most people think?)
  • We will also discuss the fundamentals of wound care and the dressing choices after surgery

Dr Andrew MacGill

A delicious lunch will be provided

  1. Tying the knot – the secrets of the interrupted, knot security and how to evert edges easily
  2. Punch Biopsy – how to make it elliptical, where and what you should or should not do a punch biopsy
  3. Advanced Elliptical excision – curved excisions and M-Plasty
  4. Deep dermal suturing – the key to structural strength and tension management
  5. Vertical mattress suture – eversion of skin edges made easy!
  6. Pulley suture – how to pull skin together that is under tension without “pulling through” with your suture
  7. Running sutures – when you are in a hurry!
  8. “Rule of Halves” and “Creeping Charlie” – where should you start suturing?
  9. Tricks to closing a tight wound with fragile skin especially on the lower legs

For those wanting more advanced skills you will be able to have small group sessions on flaps whilst the others are practising the more fundamental skills listed above.

You will continue practising the skills you want to master with evaluation and feedback from tutors.

For those interested in flaps. We will discuss:

  • Perfusion ratios of different flaps
  • Advancement flaps with a focus on the A-T flap, the most versatile flap with excellent perfusion
  • Corner suture
  • Transposition Flaps (rhomboid)
  • Rotation Flaps (simple rotation and O-Z)
  • How to manage dog ears

For more advanced students, send us an email with your “wish list”. We will accommodate you as best we can in this session. If at the end of the course you still need more tuition you can visit one of our tutors clinics (at no cost) to spend ½ a day on-site to ensure you grasp the skills you want to learn.


Unlimited available
[EARLY BIRD] Certificate of Surgical and Medical Management of Skin Cancer 2020$1,195.00 $995.00FREE Take home practice surgical equipment and suture kit. Please use the code "RegistrarSurgery" if you are a registrar for discounts.

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Unlimited available
[EARLY BIRD COMBO] Certificate of Fundamental Dermoscopy and the Certificate of Surgical and Medical Management of Skin Cancer (Modules 1+2) 2020$1,990.00 $1,795.00Includes complimentary MoleScope II dermatoscope (worth $440 excluding GST) and a FREE Take home practice surgical simulated skin, surgical equipment and lots of practice sutures. Early Bird ends 22nd of December 2019. Please use the code "RegistrarCombo" if you are a registrar/nurse for discounts.

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