reconstructive skin cancer treatment

Skin Cancer Treatment at Kevin Mayfield Plastic Surgery

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 500,000 new cases are reported each year and the incidence is rising faster than any other type of cancer. While skin cancers can be found on any part of the body, about 80 percent appear on the face, head, or neck, where they can be disfiguring.

Plastic surgeons are skilled at diagnosing and treating skin cancer and other skin growths. A plastic surgeon can surgically remove the growth and perform reconstruction in a manner that maintains function and offers the most pleasing final appearance - a consideration that may be especially important if the cancer is in a highly visible area.

Skin cancer is diagnosed by removing all or part of the growth and examining the cells under a microscope. Most skin cancers are removed surgically. If the cancer is small, the procedure may be a simple excision, which usually leaves a thin, barely visible scar. This procedure can be performed quickly and easily in the office using local anesthesia.

In the case of larger skin cancers, or those located in areas with limited surrounding skin for closure, such as the nose, lips, eyelids, and ears, a two-stage treatment approach may be indicated. First, the growth is removed using local anesthesia in the office and a dressing is applied. Reconstructive plastic surgery is then performed several days later, often using local anesthesia and intravenous sedation in the outpatient department of a hospital or an ambulatory surgery center, after the pathology report has demonstrated complete removal of the skin cancer.

Mohs surgery is a special procedure in which the skin cancer is removed one section at a time with immediate examination under the microscope. This technique is performed only by specially trained physicians (primarily dermatologists) in their offices, and often requires subsequent reconstructive plastic surgery to repair the resulting tissue defect. In such cases the plastic surgeon is an important part of the treatment team. Reconstructive plastic surgery techniques - ranging from a simple skin closure or scar revision to a complex transfer of skin or tissue flaps from elsewhere on the body - can often repair damaged tissue, rebuild body parts, and restore most patients to an acceptable appearance and function.

Dr. Mayfield has extensive experience and expertise in the evaluation of skin lesions, as well as the surgical removal of skin cancers and the reconstructive plastic surgery techniques often required following skin
cancer removal.

 
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