I have a basal cell carcinoma (as diagnosed by a dermatologist) on my upper lip that needs to be surgically removed. The diagnosis was done in Indonesia while I was back for a short visit, so I am on my own in terms of obtaining follow-up medical care when I’m back home in Hawaii.
My question is, do I try to make an appointment with a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon?
The reason I ask is because the health clinic in Indonesia gave me the name of a recommended physician in Singapore, in case I could schedule an immediate removal. (Unfortunately, time did not permit this.) I note that they gave me the name of a plastic surgeon, not a dermatologist.
I have no idea whether removing lip carcinomas (which I gather are relatively common) is a specialty, or something all plastic surgeons do - or even whether the US medical system would approach it the same way Indonesia/Singapore does.
So, knowing that I’ve got this thing on my lip that needs to be removed ASAP, and I’ll just have to throw myself on the mercy of Hawaiian medical providers (which sucks as we have a huge shortage of doctors on my island), do I start by trying to find a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon? If the latter, do I need to look for a specialist of some kind?
FWIW, I don’t have a physician on the BigIsland, because I just moved there 6 months ago and it’s practically impossible to get an appointment with a GP or IM doc. I know because I tried when I was sick a while ago - I ended up going to an urgent care clinic instead.
I suppose I could go back to the urgent care clinic and try to get them to refer me to someone? But I’ll have to pay about $160 out of pocket if I do, since my insurance provider has already paid for the appointment in Indonesia and I doubt they would pay for a second appointment to tell me what I already know.
All suggestions for how to start dealing with this welcome - thanks in advance.