Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a referral?

There is no need for a referral. However, if you intend to claim any applicable rebate from Medicare, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs or your private health fund, please provide a referral. A general practitioner or non-specialist doctor referral is valid for 12 months, while a specialist referral for 3 months. These periods are calculated only from the first consultation date at our rooms.

If you attended previously and now have a new or unrelated condition, please obtain a new referral. An indefinite referral from a general practitioner is accepted for ongoing management of only those conditions specified in the referral.

If you do not qualify for Medicare, you may be able to claim a rebate from your private health fund without a referral. Please enquire with your fund.

Is a Medicare rebate available?

We are a private practice. Different fees apply to different consultation types, and discounted rates may apply to full age pensioners and Health Care Card holders. We will advise you of the consultation fee when you book your first appointment. Different fees also apply to various follow-up consultations, or procedures performed at hospital or at our rooms.

In general, patients with health cover by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs will not be charged any fee out of pocket.

We are able to process Medicare claims automatically for accounts paid in full. To access this service, please ensure your bank account details registered with Medicare are up to date.

Our staff are able to advise you of applicable rebates; just ask.

Do I qualify for Medicare?

Depending on your private health insurance policy, the cost of procedures performed at hospital may be rebated in part or in full.

If you do not qualify for Medicare, consultations and procedures performed at our rooms may be rebated by your private health fund. Please enquire with your fund.

Where are you located?

We are located in the inner city, and there is ample metered street parking. 4 hour and 1 hour free street parking may also be available in Bourke, Burton and Forbes Streets. There is undercover parking for Mobility Parking Scheme permit holders.

Many buses stop practically at our doorstep:
Burton Street and Bourke Street corner 389 to/from Bondi and the Maritime Museum, via Town Hall station

Taylor Square 440 to/from Bondi and Rozelle, 311 to/from Millers Point and Central, 333 to/from Bondi and Circular Quay, 396 to/from Maroubra and Circular Quay, 352 to/from Bondi and Marrickville M10 to/from Maroubra and Leichhardt.

We are 5-10 minutes’ walk from Museum and Kings Cross railway stations.

Our staff are able to provide more detailed public transport route information.

What accessibility features are available on site?

There is full access for disabled visitors to all consulting and procedure rooms, via a ramp at our main street entrance, or by lift from our undercover carpark.

We also have accessible toilets.

Is there any special requirement for my appointment?

Most dermatologic conditions are diagnosed visually. If possible, clothing over the area of concern should be easily removed, and the skin should be free of any concealer, including tinted makeup or sunscreen.

Even if your referral is not specifically for a full skin examination, this may be performed when you attend if indicated, especially if you have not been examined recently. This is considered good practice in dermatology, and is necessary to enable early detection and treatment of skin cancer, and to guide tailored skincare and sun protection. For this reason, and also for any planned major surgical procedure at rooms, please wear clothing that is loose or easy to remove.

For surgery at hospital, there is no special requirement as for most procedures you will be asked to change into a patient gown.

How do I compare dermatologists?

Dr Leow coined the phrase, “patients and doctors choose one another,” to convey how both patients and doctors self-select. The importance of trust and interaction style cannot be overemphasised. Beyond these critical factors in finding a dermatologist that suits you, there are several other aspects that set both surgical and medical dermatologists apart from one another.

Surgical expertise
While the average dermatologist performs surgical procedures to various degrees at rooms, Dr Leow is among only a handful of dermatologists in Australia with operating theatre rights at a major teaching hospital. This distinguishes him from most dermatologists, as a reflection of both his surgical expertise and the high regard to which his abilities are held by other practitioners. He has training and experience in complex reconstructive and cosmetic procedures.

Laser expertise
Dermatologists are the principal specialists trained in use of lasers on the skin, yet most dermatologists in Australia do not offer laser treatment.

Our various lasers cover the entire range of suitable uses for laser on the skin, see Laser, Peels and Body Contouring.

Furthermore, Dr Leow is recognised as a laser expert by Cutera, arguably the most respected manufacturer of skin lasers in the world, and has been engaged by Cutera to speak at conferences and meetings in Australia and overseas.

Mohs surgery
In Australia, there is currently no restriction on which medical practitioners may perform Mohs surgery. However, the Australasian College of Dermatologists maintains a list of approved proceduralists on their website (, whose credentials have been vetted. Dr Leow is part of an even more select group of Australian Mohs surgery specialists who are also fellows of the American College of Mohs Surgery (

What further distinguishes Dr Leow within Mohs surgery is that he has the expertise and experience to perform all laboratory stages of this procedure himself. While other practitioners generally engage a technician to process tissue for viewing under a microscope, Dr Leow is able to perform all steps from excision to reconstruction and he handles specimen tissue directly, which significantly speeds up the process and reduces the risk of error by allowing optimal orientation of tissue during processing since he knows specific excision circumstances of the tissue, that may influence processing.

Do you offer government-subsidised injectable treatments?

While injection of filler in the form of Sculptra is subsidised for specific forms of lipodystrophy, only select medical practitioners (and not every dermatologist) are approved by the Department of Human Services to prescribe this injectable agent.

Injection of Botox® for excessive underarm sweating (axillary hyperhidrosis) is subsidised provided eligibility criteria have been met.

How should I prepare for injectable treatments?

Many practitioners use a ‘one size fits all’ approach to injectable agents where a standard amount is placed in standard sites for a particular indication, and future injections are administered in exactly the same way. At Aesthetic Dermatology, each treatment session is tailored to your requirements at that particular time, to ensure a natural improvement; since areas you wish to have treated may appear different (even subtly) from one visit to another.

For injectable treatment of the face, we recommend a good night’s rest and adequate oral hydration immediately prior to attending so your appearance is at its best, to help avoid the need for a larger amount of an injection than necessary.

How are hospital admissions organised?

Day-only and overnight surgical admissions are co-ordinated by St Vincent’s Private Hospital. Your booking request is submitted by Aesthetic Dermatology, after which you may direct any query to the Patient Liaison Nurses at the hospital.

Do you treat children?

Many of our patients are children. Dr Leow trained in paediatric dermatology at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and contributed to one of its most downloaded patient information sheets.

There is easy pram or stroller access from the street or our carpark, and a variety of toys and books for children in our waiting room.

Are discounts available for pensioners?

Patients on a full age pension may apply for a discounted fee. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Do you treat Gold Card and White Card holders?

Retired patients holding a Gold Card or relevant White Card from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs are treated without any out-of-pocket cost.

Are consultation fees covered by the Australian Defence Force?

Consultation fees and in-hospital treatment fees are fully covered for Australian Defence Force members referred by ADF health services, or by another specialist in relation to an initial ADF referral. Procedures performed at our rooms are fully covered with prior cost approval, which we are able to organise.

What are Dr Leow’s surgical admitting rights?

Most dermatologists in Australia perform only minor procedures, and only at their private rooms, which generally do not qualify for benefits from private health funds. While certain dermatologists perform more complex procedures, including those requiring intravenous sedation or general anaesthetic, at private day procedure centres; major private hospitals apply more stringent criteria when awarding surgical admitting rights, including additional surgical training and references from surgical colleagues. Dr Leow is one of only a handful of dermatologists in Australia with surgical admitting rights at a major private hospital, and currently operates at St Vincent’s Private Hospital.

Will intravenous sedation or general anaesthetic be required?

Complex procedures or surgery requiring intravenous sedation or general anaesthetic are generally performed in theatre at St Vincent’s Private Hospital. However, patients may prefer to be treated at rooms for less complex procedures or those performed under local anaesthetic or conscious sedation, if uninsured or if the timing suits better.

Are travel subsidies available?

If you are travelling from a non-metropolitan area or interstate, please ask our staff about travel subsidies that may apply, and discounted accommodation for family or friends accompanying you for a hospital admission.

How are appointments scheduled?

Please ring to schedule an appointment in the first instance; or use our online form if you are unable to call. Both in-person and online (Telehealth) consultations are available.

Do you treat international students?

For international students, consultations and treatments are generally rebatable under your Overseas Student Health Cover, provided you have a valid referral. Visitors and expatriates with travel health insurance or executive health cover may also be eligible for fee rebates. Please check with your insurer.

Are interpreters available?

For Australian citizens and permanent residents, qualified interpreters are organised for free if your appointment is during regular weekday hours. We also have multilingual staff.

What if I have darker skin or unwanted pigmentation?

Pigmented skin types are at higher risk of pigment abnormalities and scarring following surgical treatment. However, there are new technologies and techniques to avoid these risks, which will be explained when your treatment options are discussed.

In addition to proven dermatologic treatments for these conditions, in the form of topical and oral medication; we also offer the latest in skin lightening by picosecond laser technology.

Are treatments available for hair loss?

Dr Leow specialises in hair disease and is experienced in both medical and surgical treatments for both male and female hair loss.

Why is advice on fitness and nutrition sometimes offered?

This is part of our complete approach to skin health. You may have already noticed how changes in skin texture, tone or colour are among the earliest signs of poor health and nutrition. Dr Leow has a keen interest in fitness and nutrition, and provides advice based on anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and dietetics.

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