The removal of skin cancers can result in tissue defects. Dr. Fishman uses surrounding skin and tissue to close and reconstruct the defects remaining after skin cancer excision and Mohs surgery. She focuses on reconstructing defects of the scalp, face, and neck. Some of the benefits of skin cancer defect reconstruction include:
Most common side effects include temporary swelling, bruising, lumpy / bumpy sensation, and discomfort of the treated areas. Risks of skin cancer defect reconstruction are rare, and include infection, scarring, and need for revision.
Dr. Fishman performs reconstruction of skin cancer defects under local or general anesthesia, depending on your needs, aesthetic goals, and other planned concurrent procedures. During the reconstructive procedure, Dr. Fishman moves the skin and tissue surrounding the defect in order to close it. In some cases, Dr. Fishman may harvest skin grafts from other areas to reconstruct skin cancer defects.
Dr. Fishman uses her training and experience to reconstruct facial defects with similar tissue and as few incisions a possible. With good post-operative care and time, these incisions become essentially imperceptible scars.
Skin cancer reconstructive surgery is associated with a mild-moderate degree of discomfort, with most patients describing a bruised or sore sensation at the areas treated. Most of Dr. Fishman’s patients report not requiring pain medication 2-3 days after surgery.
Depending on anesthesia type, Dr. Fishman’s patients are able to get up and move about immediately or in a few hours after surgery. Most patients return to work or school approximately 1 week after surgery.
Most health insurance plans cover all or part of reconstructive procedures associated with the treatment of skin cancer. Please check with your insurance provider for correct information about your coverage. Also, at Aviva Plastic Surgery, we offer financing to help you pay for treatments. Ask about financing after your consult with Dr. Fishman.
After surgery, you should expect the following symptoms and adhere to these instructions:
Immediately after treatment, swelling and numbness will be noted within the treated areas. Swelling and bruising following treatment varies from person to person, but most of this resolves over the first 7-10 days after treatment. Patients are asked to gently clean the treated areas twice daily with warm water (plain or with a gentle cleanser like CeraVe or Cetaphil). Frequent cleanings are an important part of the healing process. There is to be no rough rubbing or scrubbing of the treated areas. Patients should apply a thin layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor multiple times a day to keep the skin moisturized during the healing process. Discomfort after CO2 laser treatments can be well-controlled with Tylenol and Motrin, and frequent moisturization of the treated skin.
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