Skin Cancer Reconstruction | Auburn, AL
At East Alabama Plastic Surgery, we understand that being diagnosed with skin cancer is frightening, confusing and life-changing. The most common treatment for skin cancer involves removing the cancer and reconstructing the resultant defect. The removal is performed by either simple excision, excision with frozen section, or MOHs surgery. Once the cancer has been removed, the reconstruction is undertaken. Reconstruction is performed in a variety of ways including skin grafting, flap surgery and other specialized plastic surgical techniques. Dr. Aquadro works closely with MOHs surgeons and other dermatologists to provide timely reconstruction. Our team is here to assist you throughout the treatment process.
Some of the questions that will be answered are:
- What kind of reconstruction am I a candidate for?
- What are the pros and cons of each reconstructive procedure?
- What is the likely recovery?
The goal of reconstruction is to rebuild, re-contour and replace what was lost or removed by the cancer. Reconstruction is inherently difficult in areas of the body that do not have excess tissue such as the nose, ears, lips and eyelids. In order to reconstruct these areas, Dr. Aquadro uses plastic surgery procedures like skin grafting and flap surgery.
Skin Graft Reconstruction
Skin grafting involves moving skin from another part of the body to an area that is deficient. This is analogous to placing a patch. Skin grafts are very successful in closing large defects that do not have adequate adjacent tissue. They have been used for many years and provide an excellent reconstructive option. Different types of skin grafts include “split-thickness skin grafts” and “full-thickness skin grafts”. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The down side of skin grafts are that they often look like a patch of skin, as the skin used to replace the cancer, does not have the same consistency or thickness.
Flap reconstruction is a plastic surgery procedure that involves moving adjacent tissue to fill a defect left by cancer excision. The “flap” consists of skin, fat, muscle, nerves and blood vessels that are transferred from a nearby area that has an excess of tissue. Flap reconstruction has many advantages including similar skin texture and color to the lost tissue. This usually provides a more natural reconstruction once completed.