What is skin cancer? How can it be treated?
Many types of skin cancer can be treated with surgical involvement inluding removal and reconstruction of skin cancer. As cosmetic surgeons, we will plan the removal or reconstruction of the skin cancer to achieve the best aesthetic result possible without compromising your cancer treatment.
What is the skin cancer removal procedure like?
Depending on the location and size of the lesion, we remove it in a variety of ways. Each case is unique. The following are the general steps as to how we would go about removing any sort of cancerous lesion:
Anesthesia is administered for comfort during the procedure. We offer local and general anesthesia. Once you have your consultation, our specialist will advise you which is best for your circumstance.
For small or contained cases, we are able to removal them with excision. This is a simple surgical process that removes the lesion from the designated area of concern. Closure is often performed at the time of the excision.
More intensive cases and lesions are a bit more complicated. What is seen on the outside is sometimes only a portion of the growth. In these cases, Mohs surgery may be recommended to completely remove the cancerous lesion. There is an alternative technique that can be utilized called frozen section closure. During this procedure, the lesion is removed and then examined microscopically to ensure that all cancerous cells have been removed.
These procedures are aimed to achieve a “clear margin”. If the cancerous cells do not spread to healthy tissue, the post-op wound is then reconstructed. If the cancerous cells spread, your surgeon will have to remove more tissue until clear margins are seen.
During reconstruction, healthy adjacent tissue is taken and placed over the wound. The sutures are positioned to follow the natural curves and features of your face to minimize the resulting scar.
Depending on your circumstance, a skin graft may be used instead. This is when a thin layer of skin is removed from one area of the body and placed on the wound.
During your consultation, our surgeons will determine what option would be best for you.
Recovery after treatment
After treatment the wound may be sore, red and drain small amounts of fluid. It is imperative to follow all wound care instructions provided by our surgeon. Cleansing and applying topical medications exactly as instructed will assure you achieve the best possible results. Limiting movement and any stressful activities is recommended and will keep the wound clean and well protected from possible injuries.
Healing can extend for a couple of months. The more time that it heals, the more the incision lines will continue to improve. It may take up to a year or more for incision lines to refine and fade to a certain degree. Follow up procedures may be necessary to complete and refine your results.
Sun exposure can lead to irregular pigmentation and raise scars. I may turn them red or dark and can increase the risk of developing skin cancer in another region of your body.
Schedule a consultation
To learn more about Skin Cancer Removal and Reconstruction, or to schedule a consultation, call (616) 459-1907 today!