Reconstructive Surgery After Skin Cancer
Reconstructive surgery following skin cancer provides a method to restore the aesthetic appearance and functionality that may have been compromised in the course of removal of non-cancerous and canc erous growths. Some patients may require extensive reconstruction procedures.
This depends on factors such as the depth and location of the growth that has been taken out, the quantity of the skin eliminated to ensure full removal, and the availability (or lack thereof) of adjacent skin to close the defect (especially in areas around the ears or nose).
In certain instances, the patient may require flaps, skin grafting, or other reconstructive procedures to recreate the natural appearance and features of a patient. Reliable board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness provides reconstructive surgery following skin cancer to patients in Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and surrounding locations in the glorious Midwest.
When are Reconstructive Procedures Appropriate?
A patient may require a reconstructive procedure if they have had a non-cancerous or cancerous lesion removed. This could cause a surgical defect requiring a reconstructive procedure to address the wound.
The patient may need reconstructive surgery whether the growth was eliminated through Mohs surgery or another procedure such as an excisional surgery. In certain cases, the surgical wound is left to heal without intervention. In many cases, the patient only needs a straight line of sutures.
Some areas experience lesion removal with little tissue surrounding them, such as areas of the face. In such cases, it can be challenging to address the wound side to side via a straight line. These cases may warrant the use of other techniques such as flaps, skin grafting, or other reconstructive procedures to rebuild area with the surgical defect.
Alternatives for Post-Mohs Reconstruction
There is no single technique or formula to perform reconstructive surgery after a Mohs removal procedure. This is because the amount, areas, and types of tissues vary between patients.
However, some techniques that are used commonly are:
- Bone Grafting: The bone is typically taken from the skull area and reshaped to be placed on the site of the excision.
- Flap Techniques: This technique is most commonly used for facial reconstruction after skin cancer.
- Tissue Expansion: In a small number of patients, tissue expanders are utilized.
- Cartilage Grafting: The standard donor location for cartilage in the ear. However, the rib cage can also be used.
- Skin Grafts: Although infrequent, skin grafts are also used for facial reconstructive procedures.
After Post-Mohs Reconstructive Surgery
It is vital to understand that in about 15 percent of patients, the reconstruction surgery after skin cancer excision has to be conducted in at least two phases. This occurs when specific flap techniques are engaged. The surgeon creates and repositions the flap in the initial stage. Subsequently, the surgeon separates or “sections” the flap from the original area and blood supply.
After the patient recovers and the blood supply to the wound is adequately established, the surgeon may perform another procedure to complete the reconstructive surgery. Other than flap technique surgery, various types of reconstructive procedures may require additional surgeries to achieve the desired outcomes.
Prudent board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness receives patients from Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and other towns and suburbs in this section of the nation.
If you would like to learn more about procedures and treatments at Metro East Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center by Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Jamie L. McGinness please contact us here or call (618) 622-SKIN (7546)
Taking new patients in and around the greater St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois area: East St. Louis Missouri, Shiloh Illinois, Belleville, Millstadt, Saint Clair County, Madison County and more.