Plastic Surgery Reconstruction After Skin Cancer Excision
Plastic Surgery Reconstruction after Skin Cancer Excision
After the skin cancer removal, the area left behind will need to be fixed. There are many important considerations when creating a plan to fix the defect. It is crucial to choose a surgeon that is both well-trained for this specific task and has a lot of experience performing it. Dr. Mario is one of the best-trained and highest-volume Mohs surgeons in the United States. He cares deeply about creating a positive environment for patients and staff, communicating with patients before, during, and after surgery, and continually measuring and improving the outcomes of his work.
- Fixing defects in the skin after skin cancer removal is different from aesthetic/cosmetic plastic surgery such as facelifts, breast augmentation, liposuction, and tummy tucks. It requires additional knowledge, skills, training, and experience, particularly expert knowledge in tissue dynamics, local skin flaps, grafting, and advanced wound healing techniques.
- Fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons typically have the most appropriate training and experience to fix 99 percent of defects after skin cancer excision.
- The Mohs surgery and the reconstruction are completed the same day in our outpatient clinic using only local anesthesia. Going under general anesthesia is typically unnecessary.
- A small percentage of defects may be better closed in the operating room under general anesthesia. Dr. Mario will discuss this option with you when appropriate.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the difference between cosmetic/aesthetic surgery and reconstructive plastic surgery?
Cosmetic plastic surgery is purely for aesthetic reasons; examples include breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, neck lifts, and tummy tucks. It generally exists to improve the look and shape of existing structures. The type of reconstructive plastic surgery that we focus on is used to fix a defect left in the skin after skin cancer has been surgically removed. The goal is that in 6-9 months, no one will know you ever had skin cancer.
Unlike aesthetic/cosmetic surgery, reconstructive surgery after skin cancer removal is almost always covered by medical insurance.
What is the recovery time like for reconstructive plastic surgery?
There are different phases of recovery. Depending on the size and type of reconstructive repair, the immediate healing usually takes 1-2 weeks, when we will remove the sutures or dissolve them on their own. I typically tell patients that it looks better every day the first week after surgery, a little better every week the first month, then it continues to improve every month for the next 6-9 months. By 9-12 months, hopefully, no one will be able to tell you ever had skin cancer. You would be surprised at how large skin cancers we can treat with minimal scarring in one year.
Is reconstructive plastic surgery on the face safe?
Yes, most reconstructive plastic surgery we perform is on the head and neck, including the scalp, face, nose, eyelids, ears, and lips. When performed by a well-trained, experienced surgeon, the results are typically excellent. Of course, you will experience some pain, swelling, and possibly bruising, the severity of which depends on age, overall health, activity level, size of the skin cancer, and area worked on.
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Your skin’s health is vital. Our team of world-class doctors and surgeons are here for you, whether you need a full-body examination, biopsy, or skin cancer treatment, in a clean and caring environment. Call us today and schedule an appointment! We’re looking forward to seeing you.