Skin cancer is simultaneously one of the most dangerous, and most treatable, cancers out there. Skin cancer has a remarkable ability to spread across the skin and into other parts of the body such as the liver, lungs and brain. However, if caught early enough, there are options to remove cancer before it can spread.
If skin cancer has appeared on your face, you can deal work to remove it by using facial reconstructive surgery. Facial reconstructive surgery, often called Mohs Surgery, is the process of removing cancer from the face, neck and head, and replacing the skin with grafts from other places of the body.
One of the most important pieces of Mohs Surgery is to keep scarring at a minimum. When Dr. Katzen is performing your surgery, he makes sure to keep you comfortable during the entire process, and looking happy and scar-free when you walk out the door. Call our Los Angeles or Las Vegas offices today to schedule your facial reconstructive surgery consultation.
Facial Reconstructive Surgery Basics
The most common cause of skin cancer is exposure to the sun, and since we wear clothing over most of our bodies, and have hair on our heads, our faces are the part of our body that is exposed to the elements the most. Skin cancer primarily shows up on our noses, ears and cheeks. Older, balding men will also see cancer on their heads.
The goal of Mohs surgery is to remove cancer from the face before it has a chance to spread to a more dangerous location, such as the brain. This process is done without full-blown surgery, needing only local anesthesia and skin grafts. By the time your appointment is completed, your face is cancer free with only a minimum evidence of a scar.
The most important part of the surgery is removing cancer from your body. Mohs surgery features a specialized, methodical approach to complete this. Cancer manifests itself on the surface of your skin, but the cancer cells are deeper in your body. Instead of removing a chunk of your skin, Mohs surgery only removes exactly the amount of skin necessary to remove cancer.
This is completed through a series of layers which are analyzed under a microscope. Each time a new layer is removed, Dr. Katzen will look at the layer through a microscope. If cancer cells are present, another layer is taken. This continues until the removed layer of skin contains no more cancer cells. The accuracy of this type of facial reconstruction surgery is what makes it so desirable to patients.
The second step to Mohs surgery is to replace the skin which was just removed. We’ll use carefully selected facial flaps to close the defects left from facial cancer resection. The skin flaps are then placed so that the scars are in hidden the facial creases. The final result is a smooth, cancer free face without unsightly scarring as a side effect.
If your primary care physician recently diagnosed an area of your face with housing skin cancer, you should call and set up a consultation right away. We’ll go through the entire process of facial reconstruction surgery and answer any questions you might have. Skin cancer shouldn’t result in your skin looking ugly and scarred; facial reconstruction surgery can help.