How does plastic surgery reconstruct skin cancer scars?
There are many different factors which determine the method for closure of a skin defect after cancer surgery. Apart from the location, size and proximity to certain landmarks, the depth of the defect and exposure of underlying structures such as bone, muscle or vessels will dictate how the defect should be closed.
The common methods to close a defect after skin cancer surgery include:
- Primary closure
- Skin grafting
- Local flaps
- Borrowing tissues from other parts of body
- Allowing the wound to heal by itself
Should I see a plastic surgeon before skin cancer surgery?
There are multiple different ways to have a plastic surgeon involved in your care after skin cancer surgery. Normally, you can discuss the closure options with your dermatologist. Your dermatologist will advise you if your need help from a plastic surgeon for best outcome.
It is best advised to see your plastic surgeon before removing the skin cancer to make sure all the care has been arranged so that you can have your reconstructive procedure without any delay.
What is the role of skin cancer plastic surgery as it relates to Mohs surgery?
Mohs surgery is typically done by a specialty trained dermatologist. Mohs surgery involves removing the skin cancer in stages while examining each section of the skin under microscope to assure adequacy of excision while minimizing removing normal skin. Most Mohs surgeons are capable of repairing simple skin defects after Mohs surgery; however, if defect is located in sensitive areas of face such as nose, lips, or lids, the patient will benefit from closure of defect by a plastic surgeon. This allows the minimal scarring and deformity after skin cancer removal.