Skin Cancer Reconstructive Surgery
As Americans spend more time in the sun, ultraviolet radiation poses an ever-increasing risk to humans. Each year, more than a million new cases of skin cancer are reported, making it the fastest growing form of cancer in the United States. Although a potentially fatal condition, even the most dangerous form of skin cancer, if detected early enough, can be treated and cured. Afterwards, skin cancer reconstructive surgery may be performed to improve the appearance of deformities and scars.
Skin Cancer and Scars
A diagnosis of skin cancer virtually always requires surgical removal of the cancerous cells. Skin cancer reconstructive surgery provides cosmetic and functional improvement to the affected area and the scars that invariably result from surgery. There are three major types of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, and squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common, appear as a sore that won't heal, a reddish patch, a bump that resembles a mole, or an area that looks like scar tissue. Melanoma, skin cancer's most dangerous form, manifests as black or brown bumps or patches with irregular edges. If caught in their early stages, a surgeon can easily remove these three types of skin cancer, leaving only small scars. However, when the surgeon must remove advanced skin cancer, deformities can result. Unfortunately, removal of skin cancers often occurs on a cosmetically sensitive area such as the face. Skin cancer reconstructive surgery can reduce and obscure surgical scars for a more pleasing result.
Several techniques are used to remove skin cancer. If a skin cancer is at an early stage, simple surgical excision of the cancerous cells is usually sufficient. The doctor may also use electrical current to remove cancerous cells in a procedure known as curettage and desiccation. With cryosurgery the doctor freezes the cancerous cells to remove the skin cancer. Scars from these procedures can be made nearly invisible with skin cancer reconstructive surgery.
If a skin cancer has grown to affect a larger area, more aggressive measures must be taken. With topical chemotherapy, the doctor applies anti-cancer drugs to the skin to destroy and block growth of the cancer. In Mohs micrographic surgery, the physician removes the cancer by shaving off the cancerous cells layer by layer. Wide area excision is performed when skin cancer returns after an initial surgery. Procedures to remove advanced skin cancer can entail the removal of a relatively large area of skin and tissue, leaving skin cancer deformities that require more extensive reconstructive surgery.
The extent of scarring from any procedure depends upon the nature of the treatment required. Using advanced reconstructive techniques, cosmetic surgeons can minimize the impact of skin cancer and scars. Often patients combine skin cancer reconstructive surgery with another procedure such as a face lift or brow lift for maximum cosmetic enhancement. If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer or have scars from previous surgery, an experienced cosmetic surgeon can help you understand how modern skin cancer reconstructive surgery techniques can benefit you.
Cosmetic Surgery to Correct Skin Cancer Deformities
When skin cancer invades a relatively large area of tissue, extensive surgery usually becomes necessary. The surgery often leaves skin cancer deformities that are visually unsatisfactory and that can interfere with normal functioning. Fortunately, with advanced skin cancer reconstructive surgery techniques, a cosmetic surgeon can repair the affected area so that form, appearance, and function are greatly improved.
Often the cosmetic surgeon uses flap surgery to improve the effects of invasive skin cancer surgery. The surgeon moves a section of living skin and tissue from a donor site on the patient's body to the afflicted area. The flap may carry its own venous blood supply, or the surgeon may reattach tiny blood vessels to the new site using microsurgery. Flap surgery has been successful in treating many skin cancer deformities, providing exceptional cosmetic and functional improvement. Because of the often delicate nature of skin cancer reconstructive surgery, it is advisable to choose a cosmetic surgeon who has extensive experience in reconstructive procedures.
Find a Skin Cancer Reconstructive Surgeon in Your Area
Modern skin cancer reconstructive surgery procedures can dramatically improve the appearance of areas that have been impacted by skin cancer. Scars and skin cancer deformities can be successfully treated with excellent results. Use DocShop's extensive nationwide listings to find a cosmetic dermatologist in your area to learn more.
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