There are three basic types of skin carcinomas: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Many of these cancers develop on the face, head or neck because these are the areas that are most exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Dr. Webster’s practice offers skin cancer reconstruction as well as diagnosis and treatment of suspected or confirmed skin cancers on the face, neck and scalp.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. and its incidence is increasing. Each year, there are 3.5 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed. In the course of a lifetime, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer. Of all body locations, the head and neck region is the most commonly affected area. Treatment of skin cancers usually involves surgical excision. Reconstructive surgery may be indicated to minimize any resulting deformity. Reconstruction involving the face and facial structures is particularly delicate given the visibility of this area and its impact on one’s appearance and social interaction.
You may be a candidate for skin cancer reconstruction if you have been diagnosed with a skin cancer located on the face, neck or scalp.
Patients benefit from the cosmetic expertise of a plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Webster for skin cancer located in a cosmetically or anatomically important area such as the eyelids, nose or lips because surgical scars are better concealed and less noticeable upon healing.
Skin cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma require excision of the entire tumor with surrounding skin margins. This can sometimes leave defects that require plastic surgical techniques to repair and minimize scarring or defects.
Following skin cancer reconstruction, you can expect a few days of swelling and soreness. Dressings are typically removed on the day after surgery. Sutures are removed between 5-7 days after the procedure. Makeup can be used at this point to camouflage any bruising or maturing scars. Swelling and bruising generally subside by 7-10 days. You can resume most normal activities after a couple of days, except for intense exercise, which may be resumed at about 3 weeks. Return to work is usually permissible within a few days, although most patients return to work within 1-2 weeks.
GOALSReconstruct site of skin cancer removal, restore facial appearance, minimize cosmetic deformity related to skin cancer treatment.
ANESTHESIALocal anesthesia or in combination with sedation.
LENGTH OF PROCEDURE½ hour to 1.5 hours
AFTER PROCEDUREDressings removed after 1 day. Most sutures are removed within 5-10 days.
RECOVERYMost activities may be resumed after a couple of days. Swelling and bruising generally subside by day 10. Return to work in 1-2 weeks.