Face The Mirror And Smile After Skin Cancer Surgery

If you’ve been diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer, there’s a good chance that it’s somewhere on your head or face. That’s because skin cancer occurs in areas with the most significant and repeated sun exposure.

Patients facing a skin cancer diagnosis usually share the same desire to get rid of the cancer quickly and completely, and that’s something Midwest Dermatology physicians can do using Mohs surgery, which has a cure rate in the upper 90th percentile.

But patients also often wonder out loud, “What will I look like once the cancer is removed?” And that’s a normal and natural question to wonder about, and one that many, many patients are concerned about.

The answer to these concerns lies in your dermatologist’s skill as a reconstructive surgeon. You should know that our Midwest Dermatology physicians have extensive training and experience in cosmetic surgical repair to make sure you are happy when you look in the mirror.  You can be confident knowing:

  • Our team offers unique skills in the reconstruction of the nose, face, ears, neck and scalp after Mohs surgery for skin cancer.
  • The large number of patients we see, and the experience our physicians have, offer you a rare degree of skill and expertise in even the most complex procedures.
  • From surgeons to staff, our entire team focuses on your health and well-being, and will support your experience with knowledgeable care, clear communication and compassion.

In each surgical procedure, our goal is to repair the site, minimize scarring and maintain the look and function of all facial features. Specifically, this means your Midwest Dermatology physician may use any of the following techniques to ensure the best result:

  • Sutures – including deeper layers of suture designed to build up your skin and prevent a sunken appearance. This common repair technique involves pulling the skin edges together in a straight line and securing them with sutures. The skin edges touch together and form a bond.  While there is redness at the site following the procedure, proper care and time will help it fade and look natural.
  • Rotation flaps – creatively borrowing neighboring skin, rotating and stretching it to cover the site of the surgery. You will know if your surgeon has chosen to use a flap for repair because the line might not be straight, but more reflective of the artistic technique to utilize neighboring skin.
  • Skin grafts – using compatible skin from other sites on the body to “fill in” for the skin that was removed. Skin grafts are used when it is impossible to pull the edges of the skin together. The skin is chosen from a part of the body with similar color and texture to ensure a natural look.

If you are still worried what this will look like, consider the photo (below or above); it shows a truly amazing reconstruction of an ear previously treated for skin cancer, done in our office. The use of cosmetic technique not only minimized the scarring, it resulted in the construction of natural-looking and fully functioning ear. Once the sutures are removed and we give it a little time to heal, the surgical work will barely be visible.

At Midwest Dermatology, we know that you put your trust in us not only as your skin cancer surgeons but also as experts in making the skin look and function at its highest level after necessary surgery. If a repair requires the additional skill and facilities of a plastic surgeon, we will happily make arrangements for you to receive the expert care you deserve.

 

Before and after reconstruction of ear following Mohs Surgery