Removal and Treatment of Skin Cancer
Knowing or suspecting you have skin cancer raises troubling questions and concerns. Whatever the type or stage, there are difficult decisions to make. At Faith Regional Physician Services in Norfolk, Nebraska, you’ll find answers and expertise to guide you.
Cancer and cancer removal can cause disfiguring harm to the nose, face, or other parts of the body. Essential treatments can leave physical and emotional scars. It’s comforting to know that you can remove cancer in a way that protects both health and appearance.
How Plastic Surgery Helps
Plastic and reconstructive surgeons operate with microsurgical precision. Your plastic surgeon can safely remove tumors while restoring or reconstructing tissues with care. The surgeon takes extra measures to avoid prominent scars or drastic changes to your appearance.
In some instances, cancer affects a wider area of hard or soft tissues across the face or body. With skin grafts and complex wound care procedures, your plastic surgeon can treat open wounds using your own skin. After surgery, you’ll have a more natural look that’s as close to the real you as possible.
For extensive tissue damage, your plastic surgeon may recommend nose reconstruction or other plastic and reconstructive procedures. Whatever your treatment, the doctor will take steps to reduce the appearance of scars.
You can schedule a consultation free of charge to learn more. You’ll talk to a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon with specialized cancer treatment expertise tailored to your needs.
Risks of Skin Cancer Removal
Any surgery has some risks, such as bleeding, infection, and reaction to anesthesia. Different procedures have unique risks. For example, if you have a skin graft that doesn’t thrive, you may require another wound-closure surgery.
During pre-surgery visits, you’ll learn about risks and treatments specific to your condition. General risks of skin removal surgery include:
- Changes in skin sensation
- Nerve, muscle, or other deeper tissue injury
- Results not as expected
- Poor wound healing
With any cancer, there is always the risk of spreading or recurrence. Your doctor will discuss the importance of self-exams, checkups, and cancer screening.
What to Expect
Pre-surgery preparation includes a physical exam and other tests and evaluations. Your doctor will tell you how to prepare and what to expect before and after surgery. You’ll receive medication before your procedure. You may have IV sedation or general anesthesia.
Types of Treatment
Treatment depends on the size and type of skin lesion and its location.
- If cancer is contained and no further cancer is found, the doctor removes the lesion and closes the incision.
- If boundaries are unclear, the doctor may remove tissues and prepare them for immediate biopsy. Prompt test results help the surgeon identify borders, confirm that no cancer remains, and close the wound.
- If biopsies show more cancer, the surgeon may perform on-site Mohs surgery or refer you to a dermatology specialist for Mohs procedures.
Mohs is a precise method that helps surgeons find and remove all cancer while sparing healthy tissues. The surgeon has thin tissue layers frozen and biopsied immediately. If biopsies show cancer, the surgeon removes more layers for testing until a clear, cancer-free border is identified. The surgeon removes all of cancer along with a small safety margin and closes the wound.
For advanced cancer or cancer on an irregular or curved surface such as the nose or head, treatment is more complex. It may require special incisions, skin grafts, or other reconstructive surgery.
Using flap or skin graft procedures, surgeons can transfer a thin layer of your own healthy skin to cover the wound. Complex wounds may require multiple procedures. The doctor will discuss your options during pre-surgery visits.
After Skin Cancer Surgery
After surgery, your doctor assesses your condition and discusses your expected healing and recovery.
- You’ll have some swelling, fluid drainage, and discomfort, with pain medication as needed.
- Avoid strenuous activities while healing. Your doctor will advise you on follow-up care.
- Scars fade over time, but you’ll have some permanent scarring.
- If you have surgery to remove a suspicious lesion, your doctor will discuss biopsy results. If the disease is found, you’ll discuss treatment options and specialized care.
For certain cancers, your doctor may recommend a specialist or multispecialty cancer care options. After a skin cancer diagnosis, it’s important to get regular screening and checkups and report any changes in skin condition to your doctor. Proactive steps help catch cancer early when it’s most treatable.
For successful healing, it’s important to follow instructions carefully. You’re encouraged to ask questions and tell us anytime you have concerns.
Your Plastic Surgery Team
At Faith Regional, your plastic and reconstructive surgeon, a specialized nurse, and other healthcare professionals such as an advanced care practitioner may be involved in your care.
Dr. Mark Shashikant
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Schedule a Consultation
You can reach us at 402-844-8167, firstname.lastname@example.org, or online to schedule an appointment.