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Archive for the ‘News’ Category


Celebs are not immune to cancer either!

Sunday, December 20th, 2015





It’s been a big week here at Bennett Surgery Center. It is always a pleasure to be appreciated, but to be appreciated for your work in a public way is very gratifying. Kudos to Dr. Bennett for being recognized for his dedication to quality care by not only one, but two, celebrities last week in the national and international news. Both stories went, as they say, viral once both gentleman spoke of their stories on Instagram. Skin cancer should be news because it is so common.

We have taken care of a number of celebrities and public figures in our office. Of course, many choose to stay anonymous which is understandable, but to have the bravery to reveal their problems, to assure many others who have the same problem that everything will be OK, and to raise awareness for many others who might not even know yet that they have the same health issues, is tremendous. Dominic Purcell even reminded everyone in his Instagram post that his friend Hugh Jackman also had skin cancer treated with Mohs surgery.

Thank you so much to both Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Dominic Purcell for their courage to come forward with their own experiences with skin cancer-the cancer that 1 out of 5 Americans will probably face sometime in their lifetime! Who only knows how many more skin cancers will be found because of their coming forward.

And, by the way, we do give out 3M Micropore brown paper tape to our new patients, so your bandage doesn’t have to scream “Hi There!!” as much! Mr. Ferguson demonstrates the pressure dressing that you will go home with for the first 24 hours to reduce swelling and prevent postoperative bleeding, while Mr. Purcell shows how a single layer bandage can be used the next day….We even had someone go on Good Morning America with a bandage on their cheek. So own it, work it, like these two! #healthyego #selfconfidence

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Posted in Comedy, Mohs surgery, News, Skin Cancer, sunscreen | No Comments »

A NY Times Rebuttal

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Did anyone read the NYT story on Mohs surgeons/dermatologists last Sunday? If you did not read it, don’t! I will summarize what it said in 1 sentence: Dermatologists are greedy and make too much money. On the FRONT PAGE!!

The woman’s story was pretty bad. Ironically it was the plastic surgeon that really overcharged her, yet the article focused on the dermatologist, whose charges only amounted to a fraction of the total bill. We rarely refer people out for repair unless it is absolutely necessary or the patient requests it.

Mohs surgery is a time consuming, laborious procedure in the sense that you are paying for the surgeon to do the operation, read the slide, the histotechnician to cut and stain the pieces (can be more than one hour of work). This does not include the reconstruction which can take nearly an hour. When I first went into practice, all repairs were paid in full. Now either the payment for the repair or the first
stage is cut in half. Reimbursements have gone down every year I have been in practice though our costs go up. Does she talk about that? Of course not!

We have not raised our prices in over a decade, though we have 5 figure rent costs, many employees with health insurance and parking, no compensation for medical waste pick up, insurance or material costs, the list goes on. When we are contracted with insurance companies, we make a deal to be underpaid in California. They decrease payments every year.

At least we provide a meaningful service, unlike the private health insurance companies, who make it a game to deny the doctor and patient as much as they can get away with, while becoming one of the most profitable enterprises with some of the best compensated CEO’s? Who is the bad guy here?

Anyway, the author woman, Elisabeth, has forever tainted my name! The entire derm community knows this lady by first name now.

On a lighter note, maybe if this doctor thing doesn’t work out I have a future in commercials. I went to my first audition the other day (I was on some random email list for non-union “real people”). I actually thought it would be funny to go. It was for a major personal care product campaign. The casting assistant told me I was gorgeous and begged me not to go (they had too many actresses and models show up) but they forgot to tell everyone that it would be up to 6 days of shooting (?!) I reluctantly walked out! This lady Elisabeth is turning me into a typical LA wanna be!!

Just kidding. I would never give up what I do, unless I win the lotto (and I don’t play that). I wish she could see the surgery I did the other day where I got splashed with blood all over. Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode, “Dermatologists are one step from the Clinique counter….oh darn…skin cancer!!”

As an addendum, Botox does not cost us $100. You cannot even buy the smallest bottle for less than $300. We do not make much on the first patient treated per bottle. You have to be a busy Botox provider to make it cost effective. This article was full of inaccuracies and clearly had an agenda to sensationalize.

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Posted in News, Skin Cancer, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

May is the month of Melanoma Awareness and Don’t Fry Day. The latter day was created by Dr. Jeff Ashley through his non-profit organization Sun Safety for Kids. This organization promotes sun safety awareness to children and their schools. I sit on the executive board of this organization. If you know of any teachers who would be interested in educational materials for their students or any members of the PTA who are on their school safety committees, please have them visit

Although we all tend to protect ourselves more during the summer months, a friendly reminder that even UVA rays penetrate through clouds. The scary thing is that we are all exposed to flourescent lighting and now, UV-C lighting in our workplace and home, and we tend to forget our constant exposure in these settings as well.

At the same time, I have read that the JAMA has published that surgery for nonmelanoma skin cancers may not be beneficial for certain elderly patients. While I agree that treating a skin cancer on someone who has a life expectancy of less than one year may not make sense, we have treated a number of very elderly patients in our practice and have contributed to their well-being and comfort. Dr. Bennett recently saw a 108 year old, who saw him when she was 98, asking if her skin cancer should be treated! Today I spoke to a patient who lost 2 friends not to melanoma, but to squamous cell carcinoma. Dying from SCC is not a pleasant way to go, particularly of the head and neck. In some cases it is miserable and difficult to watch someone losing the ability to chew, speak, talk and swallow. What I am afraid of is our loss of access to a good procedure like Mohs surgery which, while expensive, does provide the highest rate of cure for skin cancer treatment. Mohs surgery is not necessary for all tumors in all locations, at the same token. An ethical and competent dermatologist should be able to steer one in the right direction when it comes to treatment. Make sure you know all of your options and why a treatment may be recommended to you. I have seen cases where Mohs surgery should have been done, and had not been recommended, to the opposite, where Mohs was probable overkill, and should only have been done if the patient had chosen that option.

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Posted in News, Skin Cancer | No Comments »