When it comes to cosmetically-delicate areas, the face and neck are especially sensitive. There are also areas of the body that are just as vulnerable. Unfortunately, due to repeated sun exposure, there are parts of the face like the ears, nose, eyelids, and lips that are especially prone to the development of skin cancer.
Skin cancer removal can leave scars and may disfigure highly visible areas of the face if they are not patched up with meticulous surgical detail. The Aesthetic Surgery Center offers skin cancer reconstruction for patients in the greater Naples and Fort Myers areas.
What is Mohs Reconstruction?
The Mohs surgical procedure is currently the most effective way to treat most common types of skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinomas, or BCCs, and squamous cell carcinomas, or SCCs.
Mohs ensures the removal of a carcinoma while sparing healthy cells. Scars are minimal with the procedure and cure rates are the highest recorded.
The procedure has a few stages, the last of which is Mohs reconstruction. This when a professional board-certified plastic surgeon is brought in to close your wound. This process is done with extreme care and aptitude. Many times, though all surgeries leave scars, you would be hard-pressed to find the remaining minuscule marking if you did not know it was there.
Skin Cancer Before-and-After Photos
Mohs is known as the absolute best course of action to take for those that are seeking treatment for any type of carcinoma, so those suffering from these conditions are fantastic candidates for the procedure
The treatment is gentle enough to remove a carcinoma from a sensitive functional or cosmetic spot like the toes, fingers, scalp, eyelids, ears, lips, genitals, or nose. However, it is effective enough to combat an aggressive carcinoma over a large area that may be massive and indistinct. The procedure can even treat a carcinoma that has recurred after past skin cancer treatments have failed.
In some cases, Mohs has been reported to eliminate melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Naples plastic surgeon Dr. Agarwal can meet with you to discuss your options during a one-on-one consultation.
Why Choose This Procedure?
There are many reasons to choose Mohs surgery. Here are just a few of the best justifications for considering it:
- It is an outpatient, one-time procedure
- Only requires local anesthesia
- All lab work is completed on-site
- Your doctor examines 100% of your tumor margins, guaranteeing precise results
- Barely leaves a scar and the process spares all healthy cells
- An effective treatment option that is not overly expensive
- Boasts the highest rates of cure, at 99% for new tumors and 94% for those that were previously treated
The Consultation at our Naples Office
Proper Mohs surgery is administered by physicians adept at three different roles. These are:
- the surgeon that removes the cancerous cells
- the pathologist that takes a look at the tissue in the lab
- the plastic surgeon that closes the wound flawlessly with skin cancer reconstruction techniques
Plastic surgeons like Dr. Agarwal and Dr. Ross are extraordinarily experienced at skin cancer reconstruction so all Mohs incisions will heal in as attractive a manner as possible. Our Naples surgeons achieve the highest cure rates through Mohs surgery. Afterward, they simply dress the wound and send patients to our office, the same day, to repair the area via Mohs reconstruction, so the wound will heal with barely a scar.
The Mohs Reconstruction Process
To understand skin cancer reconstruction, you will need to understand the whole surgical process. The Mohs procedure is completed in stages. Here is how it usually works:
Preparation and Examination
You may need to change into a hospital gown depending on where your cancer is located. Afterward, the dermatological surgeon will mark the area of your biopsy to find it easier later on. He or she will then position you in a way that will allow him or her the best access to the cancerous tissue.
Next, a surgical drape will be set in place over the area. If your face is the area in question, you will be unable to see anything, but your surgeon will narrate you through the procedure.
Then, a local anesthetic is injected, numbing the entire area.
Removing the Top Layer of the Cancer
The Mohs surgeon will remove a thin layer from the top of the tumor using a scalpel. Just remember, the cancerous lesion may have deeper roots than what is visible.
You will be temporarily bandaged while your tissue is sent to the lab.
Your surgeon divides the cancerous tissue into sections and uses dyes to color-code each of the segments. He or she also draws a map of the area to be operated on.
The tissue is frozen by a lab technician who also cuts it into very thin layers. Each piece is then placed on slides that will be analyzed under a microscope.
The doctor examines all parts of the tissue for skin cancer, including its edges and underside, to determine if further skin cancer cells remain. He or she then marks where they would be on the map. The surgeon will inform you if further removal is necessary.
Further Skin Cancer Removal
If more cancerous cells remain, the physician will inject more anesthesia and proceed to remove another layer of tissue where the map indicated they would be.
The above process repeats on a loop until no further cancerous tissue remains.
Sealing the Wound
While the wound can be left alone and allowed to heal on its own, a certified plastic surgeon can also close it professionally with stitches and do so in a way where there will be practically no scar tissue once the Mohs reconstruction heals.
Sometimes this means reconstruction using a skin flap, where nearby skin and tissue are moved into the wound. Other times, it could mean a complete skin graft. Once clear margins are established, we will be able to repair your skin, allowing it to heal almost seamlessly.
Patient Testimonials for Skin Cancer Reconstruction
It is crucial that you follow our directions when it comes to wound care. Remember, recovery and healing time are completely dependent on the type and scope of your Mohs reconstruction.
You may experience some tenderness or soreness post-surgery. Aspirin, however, should be strong enough to handle the discomfort. If you find that you may need a stronger pain reliever, our Naples skin cancer specialists will most likely prescribe one for you. Bruising and swelling may also develop close to your wound. This is especially true if the surgery was performed close to the eyes. Proper rest should quell the likelihood of this possibility.
You should limit physical activity that is likely to raise your heart rate for at least one week after Mohs surgery. Also, try not to stoop or bend over if possible. Traveling right away is also discouraged, so if you came from far away to have the surgery, make plans to stay at a nearby hotel for a few days.
Facial stitches are usually removed within a week and stitches on other parts of the body are usually removed after two weeks. While the incisions may look bumpy and pink at first, they will dramatically improve with time, or with the aid of dermabrasion. The redness and raised nature of the wound will improve up to a year after Mohs reconstruction.
The surgery by itself without reconstruction costs in the range of $1500 to $3000. Of course, this is all dependent on how many times your surgeon will have to go back and forth to make sure all the cancer cells are completely removed. This is referred to as “clearing the margins” of any skin lesions identified as basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.
Another factor, of course, is just how large the tumor is.
That said, because skin cancer removal is considered a medical procedure that is requisite and necessary, it should be covered under most insurance plans. This includes Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ plans.
If you are without insurance, or if you have a high deductible, you should seek out a Mohs surgeon that will work with you on a payment plan.
There is an additional expense added to the procedure concerning the reconstruction and wound repair. Cutting the target area away and stitching the wound up, are, after all, two separate services.
If closing and reconstruction surgery is a bit more complicated, the costs may be higher than the average.
Patients in Naples and Fort Myers seeking reconstruction after Mohs surgery should set up a consult with our surgeons to discuss costs and insurance coverage.
Though both the surgery and the Mohs reconstruction are considered very safe procedures, as with all surgeries, there are some minor risks after the skin cancer reconstruction. Here they are in detail:
– You could develop hematomas, which are the blood from surrounding tissue bleeding into the wound after Mohs reconstruction
– The site of skin cancer removal may start to bleed
– Infections may develop, as can shooting pains and chronic itchiness
– Tenderness, pain, or temporary numbness can occur at the site where the skin cancer reconstruction took place
Any makeup on the face, including products used specifically to camouflage the wound, can only be used once the area is fully sealed. This usually occurs approximately one to two weeks after the skin cancer reconstruction. This means it is perfectly fine to use cover-up on the stitch lines while they are still in the process of healing.
Schedule your Skin Cancer Reconstruction Today
If you feel you need skin cancer reconstruction after undergoing cancer removal surgery in the greater Naples or Fort Myers areas, Dr. Agarwal of the Aesthetic Surgery Center will be sure to get you looking like new again once your carcinoma margins are cleared. Schedule an appointment today!
Related Procedures: Facelift, Rhinoplasty, Revision Rhinoplasty, The UpLift Facelift, Endoscopic Mid Facelift Surgery, Eyelid Surgery, Eyebrow Transplant, Chin & Cheek Surgery, Hair Transplant Surgery, Surgery of the Ears, Fat Transfer, Lip Augmentation, Endoscopic Eyebrow Lift, Scar Revision, Facial Trauma