Dermatologists can intervene and treat many early skin cancer lesions effectively, and they do so with the use of non-surgical treatments and topical applications. However, if your skin cancer affliction is at an advanced stage, surgical excision will be indicated for treatment. Advanced skin cancer can promote scar formation after healing. However, you can undergo skin reconstruction to address scar formation, and this procedure can be performed by a certified plastic surgeon.
Defining Reconstruction Size
What you have to understand is that the true size of the reconstruction site is not revealed until your plastic surgeon sends off frozen sections of tissue to a pathologist for examination. The pathologist's report will eventually offer insight about the borders of the cancerous site. That information will help your plastic surgeon to determine if all cancerous cells were removed during surgery. Plans can thereafter be initiated for the reconstruction of the surgical site.
Once the pathologist's report is returned, plans for reconstruction are put in place. Your plastic surgeon may perform the reconstruction or refer you to a dermatological surgeon whose specialty is in Mohs surgery. Mohs surgery involves the use of specially prepared frozen sections, and the surgeon will find a clear margin area where your skin cancer did not spread to. When a clear margin is found, the surgeon will begin the reconstruction of your wound site. If there is no clear margin, your surgeon will clear off more tissue until a clear margin is found.
Your surgeon will reposition healthy tissue over your surgical wound, and a suture line will be placed to adapt to the natural curves and creases of your face. This suture line is technically used to lessen the visibility of the scar. Usually, this procedure solves the problem of visibleness of the scar in the final analysis. In some cases though, a local flap that's referred to as an adjacent tissue rearrangement may have to be placed on the wound if your skin cancer lesion is somewhat large. This technique will be fully explained to you by your surgeon if it needs to be used at your reconstruction surgical site.
Your Recovery And What Happens Then
You can expect soreness at the incision site on your face and redness of the skin too. Remember to follow wound care instructions given to you following surgery, and that includes cleansing and responsibly using topical medications at the site.
Give your body time to heal, and avoid a lot of moving around, which could place stress on sutures and the wound. Do remember to avoid exposing your wound to the sun. Scars can become raised or dark if exposed to sun rays. You also risk developing skin cancer on another part of your body if you soak up too much sun rays while you are recovering from your procedure.