Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer with almost 13 million Americans diagnosed annually. This figure still does not make it easy to know that you are suffering from skin cancer and there is the troubling knowledge of disfigurement or scarring. Dr. Stanislaw understands this concern of his patients and guides them through skin cancer treatment and explains the effects on your appearance.
What is the procedure of skin cancer removal?
Depending on the type, size and location of the skin lesion, there are several techniques that Dr. Stanislaw can use to remove the cancer and reconstruct your physical appearance. During your surgical process, you will be under general anesthesia, local anesthesia or IV sedation depending on the type of cancer and location.
For a small lesion or one that is contained, the removal process is a simple excision and closure of the wound is performed at the same time. It is important to know that most of the growth visible on the surface of the skin may just be a portion of the growth.
With Basel Cell Carcinoma you have the option to do nothing, radiation, excision surgery, or use topical medications.
If the lesions are not fully defined, if it’s recurring, or a place difficult to reconstruct (such as the eyelid or nose), Mohs Surgery is used. A Mohs surgeon – a dermatologist that is trained for this type of surgery – removes the cancer and Dr. Stanislaw does the reconstruction. This is done to ensure all of the cancerous cells are completely removed. Dr. Stanislaw works with several surgeons in the area to perform this type of treatment.
What is the reconstruction process?
With a small lesion you can do nothing or close it primarily. Any large lesion is removed by using the frozen section or may cause disfigurement can be reconstructed using a local flap – recovery is quickest. Adjacent healthy tissue is repositioned over the surgical wound. The stitches are placed in a manner that they follow the natural curves and creases of the face or other affected body part so that the visibility of the scar is minimized.
It is also possible that Dr. Stanislaw will opt for skin grafting instead of using the local flap. This graft is a thin layer of skin that is removed from another part of your body and relocated to the site of the wound. This depends on the different variables, the patient and size of the skin cancer.
What is the healing period and results of skin cancer reconstruction?
The incision lines continue to heal over weeks or months. Initially, the site may be red and sore. You must follow all cleaning and medication application instructions from Dr. Stanislaw. Any stress on your wounds or sutures must be avoided at all costs.
Within a year, your incision lines will begin to fade. Patients from Hartford, New Haven, Norwalk, Greenwich and Avon have undergone successful skin cancer reconstruction. It’s important to limit harmful exposure to sun and do not subject your incisions to excessive abrasion, force or motion while healing. A good quality sunblock with zinc oxide is recommended every day.