Reconstructive surgery provides patients who have had a growth removed with a way to restore the cosmetic appearance as well as functional structures that may have been damaged during the removal of malignant and benign growths.
Reconstruction will Depend on the Extent of Growth Removal
The patient may require advanced reconstruction depending on the depth and location of the growth that has been removed, the amount of skin eliminated to ensure full removal, or the unavailability of sufficient adjacent skin (such as in sites around the ear or nose) to close the defect.
In such cases, the patient may require skin grafting, flaps, or other reconstructive techniques to restore the natural appearance and functionality of the area.
Patients concerned about a skin lesion or aberration should consult an experienced and skilled dermatologic surgeon.
A Key Focus
Ideally, the dermatologist should specialize in the treatment of skin cancer, particularly with Mohs surgery, which is a cutting-edge, highly effective surgical approach with up to a 99 percent cure rate!
An experienced dermatologist will not provide the patient with an “off-the-rack,” generic treatment plan. Rather, they will invest time to understand the patient and their health history to create a customized treatment plan which will offer them the highest chances of a successful outcome.
When is Reconstructive Surgery Necessary?
Patients who have undergone surgery to remove a cancerous or benign lesion will have a surgical defect requiring reconstruction to restore the area.
Irrespective of whether the lesion was removed using Mohs surgery or another surgical procedure, such as excisional surgery, the patient may require reconstruction. Sometimes the surgeon may allow the defect to heal on its own. A straight line of sutures is all that is necessary in many cases.
However, it may be challenging to seal the wound side to side with a straight line in cases where lesions are excised from sites with insufficient adjacent tissues, especially in prominent facial areas such as the ear and nose.
Skin grafting, flaps, or other reconstructive techniques may be required to repair the surgical defect in such cases.
An experienced dermatologic surgeon will understand the importance of outward appearance for the patient, especially regarding its effect on the patient’s confidence and self-esteem in social and professional situations.
A skilled skin surgeon will undertake reconstructive surgery to restore the appearance of the defect enabling the patient to regain the self-confidence that they have in their natural aesthetic appearance, even after complex surgery.
What Types of Reconstructive Surgery are Available?
The treatment of skin cancer is of utmost importance. However, reconstruction after the procedure is vital as well. Following the surgery to remove malignant cells, the dermatologic surgeon will offer the patient information on the appropriate techniques available to repair the surgical defect.
According to the depth, size, and location of the surgical defect, one of the following approaches may be chosen:
- Allowing the wound to heal on its own or second intention healing.
- Sealing the wound in a side-by-side manner using stitches.
- Using a skin graft (skin sourced from another location on the body) or a flap (using skin surrounding the wound) to address the defect.
- Referral to a reconstructive surgical expert for wound repair.
Following the excision of a cancerous or non-cancerous lesion, reconstructive surgery is an effective way to ensure that the patient appears and feels their best in the recovery phase.
Board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness and Jackie McGinness, FNP (Nurse Practitioner) receive patients from Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and nearby areas for dermatology treatments.
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.