Millions of Americans deal with a skin cancer diagnosis each year. Modern diagnosis and surgical techniques have led to a very high success rate when it comes to identifying and removing malignant (cancerous) skin cells. In particular, Mohs surgery, which allows for the precise excision of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, maximizes the preservation of healthy, non-cancerous tissue. Still, even the best outcome will leave its telltale mark, which is why many patients choose reconstructive skin cancer surgery.
Health and Beauty, Hand in Hand
Dilworth Facial Plastic Surgery’s Dr. Andrea Garcia and Dr. Josh Surowitz believe in the dual importance of form and function, applying their experience to give their patients the best cosmetic outcomes.
As fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeons, Dr. Garcia and Dr. Surowitz approach reconstructive skin cancer surgery as an opportunity to preserve the aesthetics and ongoing proper working of critical and very visible facial structures. Each surgery begins with a consultation to establish a relationship and a thorough knowledge of a patient’s needs.
What Is Reconstructive Skin Cancer Surgery?
A common treatment for certain types of skin cancer is surgical removal to prevent the cancer from spreading. Excising a mole or tumor leaves behind a hole in the skin, which can be particularly noticeable on the delicate features of the face.
Reconstructive skin cancer surgery involves the closure of that hole, restoring skin and other vital tissues to the area with an emphasis on minimizing scarring, preserving function, and achieving natural, aesthetically pleasing results. There are a variety of reconstructive skin cancer surgery techniques available, depending on the location of the site of cancer removal and the size of the area to be repaired.
Types of Skin Cancers and Treatments
Skin cancer is the general term for the abnormal growth of cells in the skin, attributable mostly to damage from ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun and other sources, such as bulbs in tanning beds.
- basal cell carcinoma
- squamous cell carcinoma
Though the most common form, basal cell carcinoma, is not usually fatal—especially if detected and treated early—it can significantly impact the area where it is found, growing into the surrounding skin. This cancer often appears on the face and neck, as these areas experience significant sun exposure. Since these areas are also so prominent, many patients choose reconstructive skin cancer surgery after the cancerous tissue is removed.
Squamous cell carcinoma tends to grow and spread more quickly than basal cell carcinoma, but still has a high success rate if caught and removed in an early stage. This cancer also tends to appear on areas that are often exposed to the sun, frequently developing on the face, ears, eyelids, nose, lips, and neck. Removal of squamous cell carcinoma often results in larger defects, making reconstructive skin cancer surgery a procedure of choice for patients after tumor removal.
Both of these carcinomas may be treated with Mohs surgery as recommended by a skin cancer specialist.
Melanoma is the least common form of skin cancer, but it is also the most aggressive and deadly. Surgical removal may be an option in some cases, but other typical treatments include medication, radiation, and chemotherapy.
Anyone undergoing treatment for skin cancer is encouraged to talk to facial plastic surgeons Dr. Andrea Garcia and Dr. Josh Surowitz to learn their options for reconstructive skin cancer surgery as necessary.
Dr. Andrea Garcia and Dr. Josh Surowitz are dual board certified surgeons.
What Does Reconstructive Skin Cancer Surgery Cost?
Since skin cancer can appear in a variety of forms virtually anywhere on the body—not just where sun exposure occurs—the cost of reconstructive skin cancer surgery depends on factors unique to each patient. Cost and other details will be discussed at your skin cancer surgery consultation.
Mohs Skin Cancer Surgery Explained
To remove the cancerous tissue in the case of basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, a specialty trained Mohs surgeon takes very thin samples of the growth’s margins and examines them under a microscope. This process is repeated until no sign of cancer remains in the tissues being examined, indicating that the entire growth has been removed.
The Mohs technique is effective because it both excises cancerous growths in their entirety and minimizes the removal of healthy tissue. Reconstructive skin cancer surgery is often quite effective at repairing the resultant defect (hole) since so much non-cancerous tissue is preserved.
Browse our gallery of patient before-and-after photos to see examples of our results. Additional before-and-after results are also available for review at the time of consultation.
Other Reconstructive Procedures at Dilworth Facial Plastic Surgery
Dr. Garcia and Dr. Surowitz have a comprehensive knowledge of facial anatomy, giving them particular insight into various structures’ proper function and appearance. In addition to reconstructive skin cancer surgery, they provide reconstructive services to patients with facial trauma and lacerations. They also offer surgery to reduce the appearance of scars, as well as mole removal.