Facial/Skin Cancer Reconstruction
Skin Cancer reconstruction is a surgical procedure to restore the appearance and function of the face after skin cancer lesions have been removed. The reconstructive surgery is sometimes performed after the skin cancer has been removed, although the doctor may be able to remove the cancer and perform the reconstruction during the same procedure.
Who Can Benefit From Cancer Reconstruction?
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and if caught early, it is usually treatable. If your skin cancer has left an unsightly area on the body or a significant defect, you may be an excellent candidate for cancer reconstruction.
What is the Procedure Like?
If the area to be treated is small, it may be performed as an outpatient procedure under just a local anesthetic to numb the tissue and a sedative to make you feel slightly drowsy. For larger areas, you will undergo surgery in a hospital while asleep under a general anesthetic, and you may need to spend a few nights in the hospital after the surgery.
There are numerous techniques to reconstruct cancerous tissue of the skin. These include skin grafts, local tissue flaps, and free tissue transplants. These procedures involve using your own tissue to repair and replace defects left after cancer surgery. The doctor will do everything possible to minimize scarring. Subsequent treatments that help to reduce the appearance of scars, such as microdermabrasion or laser resurfacing, may be suggested after you have healed from the reconstruction surgery.
What Can I Expect During Recovery?
After your surgery or hospital stay, you will need someone to drive you home, and you may need some help around the house for a few days. The area will be bandaged, and you will most likely experience some swelling, bruising, numbness, and pain after your surgery. You will be given a prescription for pain medication and an antibiotic, along with detailed instructions on how to wash and change your dressings.
The amount of time it will take you to heal and how soon you can return to work depends on many factors. The doctor will monitor your progress carefully and give you instructions about returning to work and resuming your exercise program.
Of course, anyone who has had skin cancer should do everything possible to avoid a recurrence. This means wearing sunblock of 30 SPF or higher, wearing a brimmed hat, and wearing sunglasses while outside.
What Are the Risks of Cancer Reconstruction?
Cancer reconstruction is a very safe surgery, and complications are rare. All surgery carries some risk, however, such as infection. Be sure to tell the doctor all about your medical history and about any medications you are taking.