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Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a highly effective non-surgical treatment for certain types of pre-cancerous lesions as well as non-melanoma skin cancers.

By Andrew Hatfield
Updated: 12th June 2023

Medically reviewed by

The aim of photodynamic therapy (PDT) is to cure the pre-cancerous lesions and also minimise any cosmetic problems or scarring which would be associated with surgery. This is because surgery in cosmetically sensitive areas such as the face or nose can leave significant scars including the requirement for skin grafts or reconstructive surgery.

What conditions can be treated by photodynamic therapy?

Conditions treated by photodynamic therapy include:

What conditions are not suitable for treatment with photodynamic therapy? 

This treatment is not appropriate for melanoma skin cancers (abnormal moles) or Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). For information about melanoma skin cancers, or if you are concerned about your skin you should speak to your GP.

Non-Surgical Alternative

How does photodynamic therapy work?

PDT uses a light-sensitive drug in the form of a cream which is applied directly to the patient’s skin.

This light sensitive drug is attracted to the abnormal cancer cells, and when exposed to a particular type of light kills off only the abnormal cells.

What benefits are there to using photodynamic therapy?

The benefits of using photodynamic therapy include:

  • Healthy cells are unaffected
  • Replenishes surrounding skin and sun damage
  • Avoids surgery and surgical scars
  • Superior cosmetic results
  • High cure rates

We have a multidisciplinary team of Consultant Dermatologists, Consultant Plastic Surgeons and Reconstructive Surgeons, who offer a wide range of treatments for a number of skin lesions and pre-cancerous lesions as well as non-melanoma skin cancers.

Depending on the type, size and location of the lesion you may be suitable to have Photodynamic therapy or alternatively need to have it surgically removed in clinic or theatre. You will need an appointment with one of our Consultants to discuss which type of treatment is best for you.

Our laser skin clinic is delivered by Professor Kayvan Shokrollahi, who has a clinical interest in the aesthetic removal of skin lesions and non-melanoma skin cancers.

The guide price provided on this page is for the Photodynamic therapy. Photodynamic Therapy may require up to two sessions depending on the size, and location of the lesion. Occasionally a combination of laser treatment as well as PDT may be more clinically appropriate when only one session is required. 

Privately you will benefit from no waiting lists or long delays for Photodynamic Therapy at Fairfield Independent Hospital.

We work with all known insurance companies, and offer competitive self-pay prices if you do not have health insurance.

Before considering surgery, it is important to be aware that all surgical procedures carry a certain amount of risk and it is important that you understand the risks involved with Photodynamic Therapy.

Key facts about the procedure