Skin cancer removal can potentially result in the loss of a significant amount of skin. Mohs Micrographic Surgery is a highly specialized procedure that removes cancerous cells from the skin while preserving the greatest amount of normal tissue. Skin can often be sutured back together after the surgeon ensures all cancerous cells have been removed.
In some instances, however, patients may have significant defects on their faces after Mohs surgical procedures. In these cases, a plastic surgeon may have to reconstruct the defect to restore form and function to the face.
Mohs surgery removes skin cancer, but depending on where the cancer was (and how deep), removal can cause loss of function to areas like the cheeks. Skin reconstruction surgery can restore functionality to areas that have lost it due to cancer treatments.
Many patients do not like reminders of their cancer in the form of wounds or scars. Skin reconstruction surgery can remove many of the visual indications that cancer occurred. This process can create a new and aesthetically pleasing physical appearance.
Skin cancer reconstruction following cancer removal can have significant psychological benefits. These positive changes can also lead to corresponding improvements in the rest of the patient’s health and quality of life.
Mohs reconstruction can be performed in our office as an outpatient procedure. The length of the treatment will depend on the level of complexity of the reconstruction that is required. Several techniques can be used to repair skin after cancer treatments.
This technique uses the adjacent tissues to reduce tension on the wound closure. The wound will be closed in multiple layers.
This technique is usually used immediately after Mohs surgery.
Skin from one area of the body may be transferred onto the wound or scar. This technique does require skin to be taken from other areas of the body.
A graft will require a more complex procedure but can treat more extensive wounds than many other techniques.
Skin and underlying tissue from an area adjacent to the defect can be moved over the wound. This provides the benefit of using the skin most similar to the skin removed during the Mohs surgery. Often, scars can be concealed within the natural crease lines of the face.
This technique is ideal for patients with smaller wounds or scars.
Sometimes the cartilage in the nose has to be removed during the Mohs surgery. Without the support of the cartilage, the nostrils will collapse. Donor cartilage from either the septum of the nose or the ear is required in these instances. The defect is reconstructed using the donor cartilage, and a skin flap is used to cover the cartilage.
In some cases, this procedure can be combined with rhinoplasty (aesthetic nose surgery) to ensure the patient’s nose matches their face following the procedure.
You may expect to have swelling and bruising for several weeks following skin reconstruction. Patients can usually return to work within a week of surgery, depending on the extent of the treated area.
Most patients find the amount of discomfort during recovery is generally low. Discomfort may be managed with over-the-counter medications. The sutures usually remain in place for seven to 10 days.
You will notice changes in the appearance of the reconstruction over three to six months. Final results are typically noticed after one year, at which point the amount of scarring is usually inconspicuous.
As with any surgical procedure, some degree of scarring is unavoidable. That said, Dr. Hadeed utilizes specific geometric techniques to minimize the amount of visible scarring during your procedure.
Most scars will be well concealed and will fade over time.
The cost of skin cancer reconstruction surgery can vary widely depending on the extent of the treatment area, the technique used during reconstruction, and the complexity of the procedure. Dr. Hadeed will provide you a personalized quote for your procedure after examining your specific needs.
My experience with Dr. Hadeed exceeded my expectations! Not only am I incredibly happy and satisfied with my surgery results, I was very impressed by his warmth, expertise, and professionalism…
Any patient who has had Mohs surgery to remove skin cancer (or other skin cancer removal treatments) is a potential candidate for skin cancer reconstruction surgery. Patients with deep or wide areas of removed tissue will likely desire this or similar reconstructive procedures.
This operation may be performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the extent and depth of the treated area. This is done to reduce the patient’s pain and discomfort during the operation.
Most patients will undergo skin cancer reconstruction surgery the day of their Mohs surgery. In some cases, reconstruction may be delayed for medical or aesthetic reasons. Some reconstructive techniques can only be used the day the cancer is removed, while others may be employed at any time.
Some patients choose to wait and combine their reconstructive surgery with cosmetic procedures, such as facelift surgery.
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with skin cancer reconstruction. These risks can vary depending on the technique used. Risk factors may also change depending on the timing of the surgery or further cancer treatments. Some risks associated with skin cancer reconstruction surgery may include the following:
Before and After Photos - individual results may vary – Some images may be models