When you are diagnosed with skin cancer, the ideal course of action may be to have extensive surgery, removing cancerous cells and preventing the disease from spreading further. In some situations, this requires the removal of significant portions of skin and tissue. Skin cancer reconstruction can replace that skin and tissue and also help prevent scarring. At Thrive Reconstructive Surgery, we are pleased to provide the knowledge of skilled skin cancer reconstruction specialists. Learn more about the services we offer.
What is Skin Cancer Reconstruction?
Skin cancer of the face is incredibly common. Melanoma is even more common, and can be exceedingly dangerous; when left untreated, it can spread quickly throughout the body.
Removal of skin cancer is usually straightforward. The challenge comes later, once skin and tissue have been removed, often leaving significant wounds. The process of skin cancer reconstruction is all about replacing lost skin and tissue, restoring the aesthetics of your face, and striving to look and feel your absolute best.
At Thrive Reconstructive Surgery, our surgeons can remove your cancer in a way that minimizes damage to the surrounding tissue. When needed, we can also perform full reconstruction via skin graft or rearrangement of local tissues. Our goal is always to restore your skin to its normal contour, texture, and overall appearance.
Who is a Good Candidate for Post-Skin Cancer Reconstructive Surgery?
If you have been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or melanoma, then you may be a good candidate to have your cancer treated by one of our skilled reconstructive surgeons. To find out whether you qualify for this treatment, make an appointment for a consultation with Thrive Reconstructive Surgery. In addition to confirming your diagnosis, we can also take a careful inventory of your medical history, ensuring you are eligible for a healthy procedure.
In general, we recommend that those who are planning to have skin cancer reconstruction surgery cease smoking as quickly as possible. Skin cancer reconstruction will work effectively for those who abstain from any and all tobacco products.
Meet Your Post-Cancer Reconstruction Surgeons
At Thrive Reconstructive Surgery, we boast a team of skilled plastic and reconstructive surgeons whose mission is to help patients look and feel their best. We take on complex cases and address difficult pathologies, ensuring our patients get treatments that lead to both functional and aesthetic restoration. We have a proven track record of assisting patients in recovering from melanoma and other types of skin cancer. Thrive Reconstructive Surgery provides skin cancer reconstruction surgeries from our offices.
The Types of Skin Cancers Treated
At Thrive Reconstructive Surgery, we provide clinical intervention for a range of skin cancers. To learn more about each of these surgical solutions, we welcome you to contact our offices.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are the two most common skin cancer pathologies. Both tend to present on areas of the body that are exposed to the sun, most typically the face. While none of these cancers present with many symptoms, it is not unusual to have a lesion. The area immediately surrounding that lesion may also feel numb or itchy. In some cases, there may even be a slight burning sensation.
The third most common type of skin cancer is melanoma. It develops in the melanocytes, the cells that provide your skin with its pigmentation. While sun exposure is one of the most significant risk factors for melanoma, this type of cancer may ultimately develop anywhere in the body. Melanoma often presents through the changing of an existing mole. It may also show up as a new, heavily pigmented growth somewhere on your skin. Notable characteristics that may indicate the onset of melanoma are identified with the letters ABCDE: Asymmetric shape, irregular Border, change in Color, large Diameter, and Evolving shape or size.
In addition, the surgeons at Thrive Reconstructive Surgery also treat patients for osteoradionecrosis. This diagnosis describes bone death, usually as a reaction to radiation treatment. It is most common in the lower jaw but can occur anywhere on the body. Symptoms may include pain, numbness, fracture, and infection, though osteoradionecrosis often presents with no symptoms at all.
Post-Skin Cancer Reconstructive Surgery Options
For patients who have been diagnosed with any type of skin cancer, it is only natural to want an expedient treatment that completely eradicates the disease but also minimizes any long-term damage to the surrounding skin and tissue. The team at Thrive Reconstructive Surgery can determine the optimal treatment to address your post-cancer needs.
Through scar revision surgery, our surgeons can remove significant areas of scar tissue. The result minimizes or even removes the visible effects of your cancer treatment.
Through skin graft techniques, our reconstructive surgeons can remove the skin from one part of the body and adhere it to your treatment site, covering scars or poorly healed wounds.
In some instances, patients who are treated for skin cancer need underlying tissue, including bone tissue, to be removed. Bone graft techniques can help restore these underlying structures.
Local Flap Surgery
In some cases, local tissues can be rearranged to form a “flap,” covering the wound and minimizing any of the visible signs of skin cancer treatment.
Our reconstructive surgeons can also graft pieces of tendon to help replace any lost or damaged tissue, curbing the aesthetic or functional side effects of skin cancer treatment.
Artificial implants may sometimes be needed to address significant tissue loss. These implants allow you to regain your pre-cancer appearance, as well as any lost functionality.
The type of surgery we recommend will depend on the severity, location, and complexity of your cancer. In all cases, we perform skin cancer reconstruction surgery while the patient is under anesthesia, ensuring a comfortable treatment process.
In most cases, the plastic surgeon is able to perform the full post-cancer reconstruction at the same time that the cancer is removed, eliminating the need for multiple procedures. For the removal of skin cancer and the reconstruction of surrounding skin and tissue, your surgeon is most likely to use a skin graft or local tissue rearrangement. You can learn more about the different treatment options when you join us for a consultation. For those with osteoradionecrosis, we will typically remove the dead tissue, clean the area, and reconstruct the defect. Skin grafts and flaps are the most common way of doing this.
Post-Surgery and Recovery
In some cases, patients who have post-skin cancer reconstruction performed are able to go home on the same day. In other cases, we may recommend an overnight stay for observation, simply to ensure proper healing.
Dressings are usually required following post-skin cancer reconstruction, particularly if you have a skin graft. It will be important to keep the dressings clean and dry for several days following the procedure. Your surgeon can provide more detailed instructions.
The level of pain patients experience following skin cancer surgery is highly variable; for some patients, there is some mild pain, and for others, there is practically no pain at all. Most of the pain subsides following the first 24 hours, and pain medications may be used to minimize discomfort. Swelling and bruising are also common side effects and show that the body is healing as intended. Usually, the worst of the swelling and bruising subside after the first 48 hours.
Learn More About Skin Cancer Reconstruction
At Thrive Reconstructive Surgery, our reconstructive surgeons can help patients eliminate cancerous cells while minimizing damage to surrounding skin and tissue. We are devoted to being experts in this field, capable of taking on even the most complex cases.
Our surgeons welcome all patients to find out of our skin cancer reconstruction treatments are right for you. Contact us at your convenience.