Surgical Reconstruction After Skin Cancer
In the United States, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are common types of skin cancer that typically occur due to sun exposure. Basal and squamous cell carcinomas appear mostly on the face, neck, and arms but other areas of the body can also be affected.
The most dangerous form of skin cancer that many people are familiar with is malignant melanoma. The good news is that unlike other cancers, skin cancer can be seen on your skin and is curable if diagnosed and treated early. Prevention is also key! Protect your skin.
Why Should You Choose A Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon?
Prompt treatment is vital once skin cancer is diagnosed because as the tumor grows, it becomes more dangerous and potentially disfiguring and requiring more extensive surgical treatment. There are various treatments for skin cancer but surgery to remove the cancerous growth is one of the most common and effective treatments. Plastic and reconstructive surgeons are specifically trained to remove skin cancer and use specialized techniques and their expertise achieves an optimal health outcome while preserving the appearance of your skin.
Dr. Thomas A. Leach is a Board Certified Cosmetic, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon who has been serving Princeton, New Jersey area patients for more than 29 years. His years of experience, surgical skills and his caring and warm demeanor will reassure that you have selected an expert surgeon who can help you achieve optimal results with your skin cancer reconstruction.
How is Skin Cancer Reconstruction Performed?
For many skin cancer patients some degree of reconstruction is required after surgical removal of the skin cancer. Dr. Leach’s goal for his skin cancer reconstruction patients is to return the patient’s facial form and function to as close as possible prior to their normal appearance prior to their surgery. Dependent upon the patient’s reconstructive needs, Dr. Leach may recommend either skin grafts or skin flap surgery.
Skin Grafts for Skin Cancer Surgery
Dr. Leach performs skin grafting on patients requiring skin cancer reconstruction. This procedure involves removing skin from one portion of the body and using it to repair the skin indentation or defect where the cancer surgery was performed. The recommended skin grafts depend on the patient’s reconstructive needs.
There are two types of skin grafts:
- Partial thickness graft – the top layer of skin is removed without an incision
- Full thickness graft – the skin is surgically removed and sutured closed.
Patients with facial skin cancer that have been excised typically require full thickness skin grafts
Flap Technique for Skin Cancer Surgery?
For those patients, whose skin cancer is particularly large there is likely to be some disfigurement to the affected area. Dr. Leach is highly experienced in reconstructing the tissue with a local flap, also called adjacent tissue rearrangement.
Flap surgery involves taking healthy adjacent tissue and repositioning the skin flap over the skin disfigurement area. Incisions are precisely made to minimize the scar. Patients with complex skin disfigurement may require multiple surgeries to achieve a satisfactory result. Dr. Leach may also recommend fat transfer and/or dermal fillers to optimize the results.
Flap reconstruction of the face or body is a complex procedure that requires the education, skill and experience of a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon like Dr. Leach. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Thomas A. Leach.