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Reconstructive Surgery Following Skin Cancer Treatment
Restore Form & Function While Improving the Appearance of Scars/Damaged Tissue!
Skin cancer occurs when cancer forms in the tissues of the skin, and although skin cancer can be devastating, it’s one of the easiest types of cancer to catch early on. When skin cancer is caught early, it’s fairly simple to remove moles and other growths resulting from cancer; however, in some cases, reconstructive surgery is necessary. Although cancer might appear to be on the skin’s surface, it has typically penetrated several layers by the time it is removed. As a result, even patients with the brightest prognosis often find themselves with cosmetic “defects” after treatment.
With help, post-operative skin cancer patients can enjoy total reconstruction of the affected areas. This allows them to restore the natural look of skin and significantly reduce scars and other issues.
Michael J. Streitmann, M.D. offers reconstructive surgery to restore form and function after cancer-related treatments. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, give us a call at 832-664-7297 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After being treated for skin cancer, most patients start looking for ways to heal without significant scarring, especially when areas of the face, such as the nose, forehead, and ears, are involved. When you’re looking to remove or repair any scars or damaged tissue, reconstructive surgery is a great option to help you:
- Relieve any potential discomfort resulting from tension of the skin
- Normalize the way your skin functions
- Improve the appearance of scars or damaged tissue
Reconstructive Surgery For Skin Cancer: An Overview
Dr. Streitmann specializes in reconstructive surgery targeting the face, and will work with your dermatologist to get the best possible results. Depending on your needs, you can conduct the surgery all at once or through a staged approach.
It may be necessary to borrow tissue from elsewhere in the body to completely restore your appearance. To determine the best approach, the location, size, orientation, and depth of the skin defect must be monitored and the right skin flap or graft determined. Diagnostic imaging may be needed to ensure an ideal outcome.
Replacing The Skin
It’s essential to select a skin donation site that matches the complexion and texture of the treatment area, so local skin is chosen when possible. Surgery is typically possible the next day after Mohs surgery for cancer removal.
The goal of surgery is to return the affected area as closely as possible to how it looked prior to the development of skin cancer. Patients should prepare for surgery after a complete talk with Dr. Streitmann, disclosing any cardiovascular or bleeding disorders.
Once the reconstructive surgery is complete, you’re able to return to normal function the day following the procedure, however, the area will be dressed to help wounds heal quickly, then the sutures will be removed approximately one week after the surgery is performed – leaving you with natural, smooth skin.
Preparing For A Reconstructive Procedure After Mohs Surgery
Reconstruction best practices sometimes differ depending on the type of cancer treatment employed. If you are recovering after undergoing Mohs surgery, it may be necessary to temporarily discontinue certain medications.
Depending on the seriousness of surgery, it may be performed with local or general anesthesia. It is done on an outpatient basis, and you will be able to return home the same day. You will need to bring someone you trust to drive you.
As with any surgery, you should plan recovery time. There will be minor bruising and swelling immediately after the procedure. You can usually shower after 48 hours, but should avoid fully submerging any surgical incisions for two or three weeks.
Most patients feel significantly better after a week but are not ready to return to work until two weeks have passed. You should avoid vigorous exercise for about six weeks. Skin grafts may take slightly longer than local skin flaps to achieve full blood supply and natural appearance.