Removing cancerous skin lesions can save your life, but it can also cause disfigurement and conspicuous scarring. Many patients opt for skin cancer reconstruction after having cancerous growths removed, especially if the cancerous cells cover a large area of the skin or are located on the face or lips. Skin cancer reconstruction minimizes scarring after skin cancer removal, restoring the appearance of your newly cancer-free skin. Patients who have experienced facial disfigurement as a result of skin cancer removal or had a large section of tissue removed are ideal candidates for skin cancer reconstruction.
Preparing for Skin Cancer Reconstruction
Dr. Quereshy will begin to ready for skin cancer reconstructive surgery and provide you with aftercare instructions and necessary prescriptions well in advance so you feel prepared and relaxed on the day of your procedure. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, you will be required to quit using them at least six weeks before your reconstruction procedure.
Two weeks before and after surgery, you will be directed to discontinue taking medications and supplements that can thin the blood, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and vitamin E.
Abstain from alcohol for one week before your procedure, and do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before if general or sedation anesthesia will be used during surgery. Let Dr. Quereshy know if you notice any signs of infection or illness prior to skin cancer reconstruction, as it is imperative you be in good health before undergoing surgery.
Dress comfortably the day of surgery, and do not wear makeup, leave-in hair products, jewelry, other metal items or contact lenses. Bring glasses to help you read the necessary paperwork.
Skin Cancer Reconstructive Surgery
The location, quantities and types of tissues affected by skin cancer treatment will determine which skin cancer reconstruction procedures and technique Dr. Quereshy selects for you. Skin cancer reconstruction may involve any of the following procedures and techniques:
- Bone grafting
- Cartilage grafting
- Flap techniques
- Tissue expansion
- Skin grafting
Cartilage and bone grafting are utilized to restore structure at the skin cancer excision site, whereas flap surgery, tissue expansion, and skin grafting are performed for skin restoration and scar revision only.
Flap surgery is the most effective procedure for skin reconstruction on the face. Skin grafting on the face is typically avoided due to problems matching skin tone and texture. Tissue expansion is rarely used, however if a large area of cancerous skin cells are excised it may be necessary.
Each procedure aims to leave you with the most natural, pleasing results possible, and your natural skin folds and creases are utilized to hide the appearance of scars.
Skin Cancer Reconstruction Recovery and Results
For small skin cancer reconstruction procedures, little to no downtime is usually required after surgery. If a larger area is treated or an extensive operation is necessary, the recovery period after skin reconstruction surgery will increase.
Proper wound care is essential as you heal following skin cancer reconstructive surgery, so be sure to follow all post-operative instructions. Additionally, avoid sun exposure when possible and use sun protection to prevent a skin cancer relapse and scar darkening after skin cancer reconstruction.
Following your skin cancer reconstruction procedure, you will be pleased to find the signs of skin cancer treatment are diminished. The smallest, most discreet and aesthetically-pleasing scars possible will be left in place of the unsightly wounds or large scars that existed previously.
The Visage Surgical Institute is located in Medina, Ohio and serves local skin cancer survivors seeking reconstructive surgery, as well as those from the greater Cleveland and Akron metro areas. For more information about skin cancer reconstruction, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Quereshy, please call (330) 721-2323.