Skin cancer reconstruction is a branch of reconstructive plastic surgery that is performed to repair any scarring caused by surgery. In many cases, the surgeons will repair the scars right after removing the cancer or tumor. In other cases, they will wait until the patient has recovered from the initial surgery. There are a variety of methods, and the size, type and location of the cancer determine which one the surgeon will use.
What is Mohs surgery?
Mohs surgery is the surgical technique that is most commonly used to remove skin cancer. It enables the surgeon to find and remove the entire malignancy while causing only a minimal amount of damage to healthy tissue. Even this type of surgery may cause some scarring, though, so the surgeon still has to repair the scar and restore the patient’s original appearance.
What is melanoma surgery?
A melanoma is the most serious and dangerous type of skin cancer for it is the type most likely to spread or metastasize. It can appear anywhere on the skin — including on an existing birthmark or mole.
A melanoma, in fact, can resemble a flat, dark mole with an asymmetrical shape or jagged edges. Unlike a real mole, a melanoma can change shape, size or color over time.
An untreated melanoma can spread into surrounding tissues, including lymph glands or even neighboring organs. If the melanoma is caught early, the patient will only need to undergo surgery, and the doctor will remove a small tumor.
If the melanoma is advanced, the patient will probably need other treatments, and the surgeon will remove a larger tumor. He will also have to perform more extensive reconstructive surgery.
What types of procedures may the reconstructive surgery involve?
Skin cancer reconstruction can involve skin grafting, bone grafting, cartilage grafting, flap surgery and tissue expansion. While bone and cartilage grafting are done to restore structure, the other three techniques may be used to remove scars and restore the skin’s normal appearance. Tissue expansion is used to create more skin needed for a large skin graft or similar procedure.
What is flap surgery?
Flap surgery is the most common and effective procedure for reconstructing skin on the face. A skin flap is a piece of skin near the surgical wound, and it will have subcutaneous tissue. The surgeon may cut it away while leaving part attached to the original site so it will remain connected to the patient’s blood supply.
Skin flap surgery has the advantages of healing well and often looking more natural than skin graft. However, the surgery involved is more complicated than that for a skin graft and can only be performed by a surgeon.
Schedule a Consultation