Skin cancer reconstruction is a surgical procedure to cosmetically restore areas of skin that have been surgically removed in skin cancer treatment. Surgeons work collaboratively with cancer doctors to ensure all cancer cells are removed. The goal is to restore the skin and create a look that is as natural in appearance as possible.
Skin Cancer Treatment
Skin cancer comes in many forms and is quite commonly diagnosed. We treat most common types of skin cancer including:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Some types of melanoma
We can also treat areas of actinic keratosis. In some cases, referral to a specialized surgical oncologist or skin cancer doctor such as a Moh’s surgeon may be recommended.
What Are The Benefits of Skin Cancer Reconstruction?
Skin cancer reconstruction can help to replace the skin of the treated area if there was a significant amount of tissue removed during treatment. It can also simply assist in creating a more natural look to the affected area after treatment, so that you can feel and look like yourself again. This can often be quite beneficial physically and emotionally.
Your Consultation: Your New Shape Starts With A Private Discussion
The form of reconstruction that is best suited for an individual depends on the condition. As skin cancers can vary in form, size, and location, a thorough level of assessment is required to ensure that the best possible outcome can be achieved. Skin varies from place to place on your body, as well as the quality of the tissue below it.
It may be different from the cheek, to the nose and ears, scalp and neck, so each patient will require a custom approach. This will require consultation with the oncologist or surgical oncologist as well as the surgeon in charge of reconstruction.
Forms of Skin Cancer Reconstruction
The surgical approach tends to depend on the depth and size of the tumor that is being removed.
A deeper tumor will require a skin flap to be used that has fatty tissue or muscle that can be reconnected to the blood supply of the area that was excised. If it is superficial but requires that a large surface area is removed, then a skin graft may be recommended. Skin will be taken from an area where the missing skin will be less noticeable, such as the inner thigh.
Other approaches may involve the use of cartilage from the ears or nose if the removed tissue involved the removal of cartilage. This is more common with tumors located around the nose, as the nose may require reconstruction after treatment.
What Can I Expect During Recovery?
Recovery time depends on the extent of reconstruction that had to be performed, but often any stitches that had to be used will be removed within the first seven to ten days. Skin grafts and the use of tissue flaps will take longer to heal than reconstruction after a simple excision. Dr. Flugstad and Dr. Rivet will show you how to care for the surgical site for optimal healing.
Other Forms Of Skin Cancer Removal
Other forms that may not require skin grafts or other surgical reconstruction are:
- Moh’s surgery
- Electrodessication and curettage
Moh’s Surgery Reconstruction
Are you scheduled for Moh’s surgery? Moh’s surgery is a specialized treatment that helps ensure the complete removal of some types of skin cancer. Moh’s surgery involves the careful removal of the affected tissue, layer by layer, until there is no sign of cancer left. This approach may be used in many cases.
It is most commonly performed on the head and neck, and sometimes other areas. We partner with Several Moh’s surgeons in our community to offer reconstruction of skin defects created by Moh’s surgery. We would be happy to discuss your reconstructive options with you or your Moh’s surgeon.
Wound Care & Reconstruction
When chronic and non-healing wounds linger, accurately defining their causes is vital to achieving the goal of speedy and predictable healing. Denton Plastic Surgery can recommend precise treatment and care for a wound. If surgery is recommended, we excel in the full spectrum of solutions for aesthetic reconstruction.
Finding The Right Treatment
Although all surgeons can simply close wounds, Dr. Flugstad and Dr. Rivet bring the specialized skills of plastic surgery to bear on restoring the health of the afflicted area, while improving it visually.
Our doctors’ experience and advanced techniques can significantly improve healing time, reduce the risk of chronic recurrence, and limit scarring. This is particularly true when dealing with large or jagged wounds or those that lack enough adjacent skin to be covered without a graft.
It is important to stress that every wound is unique. No two wounds occurred in identical ways and no two bodies react in the same way when attempting to heal. Your wound deserves specialized attention and Denton Plastic Surgery is ready to help you with this critical matter.
Types of Treatable Wounds
Most non-healing wounds, regardless of underlying health causes or issues, can be simply resolved. Identifying risk factors in life and the environment that delay or stop the healing process is key to this outcome. Once your issue is identified by Dr. Flugstad and Dr. Rivet, you may be referred to a local wound center network where they will work with us to develop a treatment plan that meets your individual needs.
Hidradenitis is a painful skin condition that occurs in many individuals. It causes lumps, breakouts, and sometimes infections of the skin. The most common areas affected are the armpits (axilla) and the groin areas. Hidradenitis can be a very disabling and troubling problem. Minor cases can often be treated by a dermatologist to minimize symptoms. More severe cases of hidradenitis can require removal of the affected skin and reconstruction of the area. At Denton Plastic Surgery, we have significant experience with treating hidradenitis.
Pilonidal Cyst Disease
Pilonidal Cyst is a disease with causes that are unclear. The pilonidal cyst often first appears around the time of puberty. It can start as a small opening in the skin near the tailbone, at the top of the gluteal cleft. It can form a painful, chronic wound that is difficult to care for, and very troubling. Keeping the area clean, losing weight, and avoiding prolonged sitting can help the symptoms. The pilonidal cyst can be improved or often cured by surgical removal of the cyst, and reconstruction of the area with the surrounding soft tissues. For those that have had chronic problems with pilonidal cyst disease, surgery may be a very good solution.
Your wound may heal completely, requiring no further attention. This is always our highest goal. However, if some degree of reconstruction is desired, Dr. Flugstad and Dr. Rivet are renowned in this field for achieving natural results – often better than before the wound was received.
An optimum therapy, based upon the type and duration of trauma and the location of the wound on the body, will be created. Our goal is to reduce the impact of the trauma on the healing process while determining the simplest and most direct way to enhance recovery and seamlessly restore your physical aesthetics.
Non-Healing Surgical Wounds
If you have surgical wounds that have not gone through the normal process of healing in a reasonable time, we have a number of effective solutions that often resolve your condition quickly. From a careful analysis of any underlying medical condition and topical or internal supplements to advanced debridement and compression, we work toward the procedure that works best for you.
Venous Stasis Wounds
This condition creates a broad range of cosmetic issues that we have found can be effectively treated with topical creams and compression. Concurrently, we diagnose the underlying vein issues and recommend a more permanent solution. Yes, we may very well be able to return your wound area to its vibrant former appearance.
This is a bruise, discoloration or ulcer stemming from localized damage to the skin and underlying soft tissue. It usually occurs in areas where a bone is close to the skin.
There are many more types of wounds, but we have found that they all fall within a range and/or combination of well-designed procedures.
A Multidisciplinary Approach
Denton Plastic Surgery is a center for advanced cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Flugstad and Dr. Rivet are well-regarded as leading surgeons not only for the way they can transform areas once flawed by wounds, but for the compassion that drives them to do what’s best for your specific issue.
To achieve this, Dr. Flugstad and Dr. Rivet have become fluent in the most advanced and workable procedures and wound care network practices. Skin therapy medicine is experiencing a rapid evolution of best-practice discoveries. Consulting with Denton Plastic Surgery is your assurance that you will get the very best care.
Denton Plastic Surgery is one of the most qualified centers for lesion removal and scar revision. Although our center is equipped to take on issues of any magnitude, no case is too small. Dr. Flugstad and Dr. Rivet are well-established as talented surgeons in scar revision, consistently achieving natural-looking results for scars of any size.
Should You Consider A Scar Revision?
Everyone heals differently and the quality of the skin is unique to them. Beautiful skin can be firm and have an underlying thickness or it may be thin and soft.
Each type of skin responds in a unique way in developing scars from trauma or surgery and each patient has his or her own underlying health concerns which can affect healing.
If you are thinking of a scar revision, the scar is likely in a visible area that bothers you. Your first step is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Flugstad and Dr. Rivet to discuss your concerns.
How Long Does It Take for a Scar To Become Less Visible?
After an injury or surgery, and assuming proper healing practices have been administered, your body gets to work healing the area. Natural healing normally optimizes outcomes for your health but often does not lead to a superior cosmetic result. Your body sees nothing wrong with a scar. It has gone to work to create a double-strong patch in an area that has suffered trauma.
While scars are maturing, we often recommend interventions such as topical creams, silicone sheets, or occasionally scar injections to help optimize the final scar.
The scar healing takes about a year to fully complete. After that time, you can judge if a scar revision will improve your looks.
As the healing progresses it will go through stages:
- Red, puffy, and sensitive
- Slowly tighten and thin
- Lighter in color
- Relax and take on a more subtle color
What Are The Basic Types of Scar Revision Procedures?
Not only is everyone different, but scars themselves differ and their location on the body can make a big difference in which procedure will be most efficient.
Scar Removal (Excision)
This is simply the removal of the scar and closing of the skin, if there is enough extra skin adjacent to the removed scar. This may still leave a slight mark that will fade over time.
Z or W-Plasty
When a scar exists along existing folds or strong contours of the skin such as the jawline, eyes, or outer edges of the face, Dr. Flugstad and Dr. Rivet can restore a harmonious balance by repositioning the existing scar along natural lines so it is less noticeable. This is an excellent choice when scar excision is not practical.
When the scar area is too broad to be removed by excision alone, such as after a burn area heals, the scar is removed, and skin from another area of your body is used to cover the scar area to boost the natural appearance of the afflicted area greatly.
For some scars of lesser severity, topical treatments may provide the results you are looking for. These treatments can be used in three ways: during the original surgery, by themselves for existing (older) scars, or in combination with scar revision surgery. They help assist wound closure and healing and block the skin’s attempt to produce darker pigmentation in and around the scar. Aftercare for any scar revision procedure is important. We will help you with that process and instruct you on how to care for your scar.
Skin Lesion Removal
There are many ways to remove skin lesions successfully for a fresh and unblemished look. Often a procedure can be performed during an office visit using only a local anesthetic or numbing agent. If you have a mole or other lesion you would like removed, or diagnosed, contact our office for a consultation.
Your Appearance Matter To Us
There is no vanity in wanting to look your best. Personal aesthetics is a message that underscores who you are and also your regard for others. This is why Dr. Flugstad and Dr. Rivet are passionate about achieving the finest natural results that improve your overall quality of life. Their professionalism is backed by board certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery and Fellowship training in aesthetic surgery.
You owe it to yourself to meet with Dr. Flugstad and Dr. Rivet about scar revision. Contact our office for a consultation at (940) 353-5801.