Skin cancer reconstruction aims to restore original form and function of skin after removal of cancer. Skin cancer may be removed in the same procedure or using Moh’s surgical techniques by Dr. De Imus.Scar revision may be needed after the procedure to optimize the appearance and location of any scars.
Rec onstruction can take many forms as described below:
- Healing by secondary intention refers to leaving a wound to heal naturally by the body. Dressing changes may be needed. Scalp and sides of the nose can be common areas for this type of reconstruction.
- Primary closure refers to suturing the edges of the wound together. Undermining (or lifting adjacent tissue) may be needed to facilitate primary closure without excess tension.
- Local flaps refers to making incisions next to the defect to allow rotation or advancement of local tissue to cover the defect.
- Regional flaps refers to borrowing tissue that is not directly adjacent to the defect. This commonly requires leaving a bridge of tissue with the blood supply. Common examples of this reconstruction are paramedian forehead flaps to reconstruct large nasal defects.
- Skin grafts may be sutured in place, much like a patch, to close a defect. The skin may be harvested from in front or behind the ear or the neck. A special gauze bolter may be sutured in place for up to 1-2 weeks.
During your consultation, Dr. Berens, Dr. Kawamura, Dr. Shayesteh or Dr. Su will discuss your skin cancer and plans for reconstruction. Since the size of the defect cannot always be predicted prior to the resection, your surgeon may discuss a variety of plans with you.
Skin cancer reconstruction may be done in the office or operating room, depending on the extent and location of the required reconstruction.
You will need someone to stay with you overnight if you received general anesthesia. . You will be seen in the office the weekafter your procedure and follow up visits will continue at week 1,3,6 and 12. You should take 5-7 days off of work.
Skin cancer treatment is commonly covered by insurance.