What is Skin Cancer Reconstruction Surgery?

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If you have skin cancer in Charlotte, your first priority will be removing cancer and protecting your health. However, especially if your skin cancer is in a visible location, you may also be concerned about the effects of skin cancer removal for both form and function. Once a provider has removed skin cancer, many patients are dissatisfied with the appearance or there may be additional steps needed to reconstruct the surgical site.

Sometimes, people with skin cancer in Charlotte may undergo Mohs surgery. This type of surgery can remove skin cancer with only minimal damage to the surrounding, healthy skin. At Queens City Plastic Surgery, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Enam Haque works closely with dermatologists, primary care providers, oncologists, and Mohs surgeons in the area for skin cancer reconstruction after the removal of the malignancy.

How Is Mohs Surgery Performed?

With Mohs surgery, every patient needs a personal approach to fully remove cancer and reconstruct the appearance of the skin, as the type and amount of reconstruction you need depend on the extent of the spread of skin cancer. Dr. Haque can work together with your dermatologist, oncologist, and/or Mohs surgeon to develop a comprehensive approach to reconstruction after skin cancer that can help you restore your experience and enjoy optimal results.

Your Mohs surgeon will remove cancerous tissue and analyze the specimens to ensure its complete removal. This type of surgery is designed to minimize scarring and other effects of skin cancer removal to protect healthy tissue while providing maximum potential for a long-lasting cure.  Mohs surgery involves removing cancerous tissue from the skin, layer by layer. After each segment of cancerous tissue is removed, it is examined under a microscope to determine whether all of the cells have been excised. If further cancerous cells remain, the procedure continues until the cancer is completely removed.

Dr, Haque will coordinate with your Mohs provider to provide reconstruction for skin cancer after Mohs surgery is complete.  

What Is Skin Cancer Reconstructive Surgery?

There are several techniques that your board-certified plastic surgeon may use to reconstruct the wound and close any gaps. Each option can provide a beautiful, natural, and healthy appearance after skin cancer removal. The method recommended by Dr. Haque depends on the extent of tissue removal, the location of skin cancer, the size of the wound left from the cancer removal, skin quality, and the individual patient’s anatomy.  Some of the possible techniques are listed below:

  • Flap technique – This is the most commonly used option, in which a skin flap from a patient’s tissue is used to reconstruct an area of skin after cancer removal.  This is generally from surrounding tissue though sometimes that is not possible. This method can help avoid scar contracture or shrinkage.  This is an alternative to having an open wound heal on its own and can yield a good tissue match.
  • Bone grafting – Here, bone is removed from the skull and shaped to fit any area where deep excision to the bone was necessary.
  • Cartilage grafting – This may be especially common if your cancer was removed in an area with significant amounts of cartilage, such as the nose. Cartilage may be removed from the ear or rib to reconstruct the area.
  • Skin grafts – These are frequently used for facial reconstruction procedures after skin cancer surgery. The graft may be taken from a nearby, hidden area, such as behind the ear.

In some cases, skin cancer reconstruction surgery may involve several steps. Dr. Haque may use an expander to stretch existing skin to create more healthy skin for the reconstruction of a visible area of the face, such as the nose. By growing additional healthy skin, your surgeon can create a natural, thorough result.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Skin Cancer Reconstructive Surgery?

Reconstructive surgery may help anyone who has had or plans to have Mohs surgery or other excisional skin cancer removal to restore the natural appearance of their face and skin. In most cases, people receiving Mohs surgery have basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or additional skin cancers other than melanoma.

What Can You Expect from Skin Cancer Reconstructive Surgery?

Dr. Haque will provide you with detailed recommendations based on a personalized examination of your medical history and in close consultation with your dermatologist and oncologist. The procedure itself may take from 30 minutes to several hours, and Dr. Haque and his team will provide you with detailed instructions to care for your skin and prevent infection or further skin damage.

Request a Skin Cancer Reconstructive Surgery Consultation in Charlotte

Dr. Haque can design an individualized plan for your reconstructive procedure after Mohs surgery, with an approach that protects and restores the natural contours and appearance of your face. If you are receiving Mohs surgery for skin cancer and are looking into your reconstructive options, contact Queen City Plastic Surgery by using our online form or calling 704-751-4595. During your consultation, Dr. Haque will review your options and work with you and your treatment team to develop a thorough plan to repair damage and restore the natural appearance you desire.

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