Skin Cancer Reconstruction
As skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, more and more patients each year develop skin cancers on their face. Certain areas of the face, ear, eyelid, lip, and scalp can be very challenging to repair. Lesions in these sensitive locations are best treated by a team approach, which starts with removal of the cancer by a skilled Dermatologic MOHS cancer specialist. After the cancer is completely removed, the resultant defect often requires reconstruction to restore a natural appearance. Skin cancer reconstruction is an effective way of disguising scars and minimizing the damage left behind by the MOHS cancer resection procedure. As a Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Dr. Bassichis' task is to repair the wound after skin cancer removal, so it can heal with an optimal aesthetic and functional result.
Because each region of the face, head, and neck presents its own challenging and unique anatomy, facial reconstructive surgery demands a skilled specialist to preserve functionality and optimize the cosmetic outcome. When functional structures like the nose, mouth, eyes and ears are affected by skin cancer, it's a marriage of form and function to repair the wound and still make the patient look as natural as possible.
With his expertise in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery, Dr. Bassichis is dedicated to providing customized care to his patients with skin cancer. He personally meets with all of facial reconstructive patients prior to their MOHS Surgery. During your initial consultation with Dr. Bassichis, reconstructive options are discussed and preoperative pictures are taken. At this office visit, patients can view numerous before and after photographs of Dr. Bassichis' previous reconstructive cases. All of your questions regarding Facial Reconstructive Surgery will be answered and the surgery date is scheduled. With all Facial Reconstructive surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. Dr. Bassichis stresses the importance of restoring natural facial contours and uses carefully planned incisions to accomplish this goal. Facial reconstruction surgery is an effective way to disguise scars and minimize the damage following MOHS cancer surgery. Skin type, history of smoking, and age are all important elements that factor into your final result. If you have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, bleeding disorder, diabetes, thyroid disease or any other medical conditions, please inform Dr. Bassichis or a member of his medical staff.
UNDERSTANDING THE SURGERY
The first phase of your surgery occurs in the office of your Dermatologist or MOHS surgeon. During this procedure you will be given local anesthetic while the skin cancer is carefully removed. After the margins are clear and the cancer surgery is finished, a bandage will be placed over the defect where the cancer was. The second phase involves the reconstruction, which Dr. Bassichis performs at an outpatient surgical facility or hospital. Dr. Bassichis will remove the bandage placed by the MOHS surgeon and assess the defect that remains after your cancer was completely removed. After he is able to evaluate the defect, Dr Bassichis will determine the most appropriate reconstruction procedure to achieve optimal functional and cosmetic results for you. A board certified physician Anesthesiologist will make sure you are comfortable and safe during the reconstruction. With Dr. Bassichis' expertise in facial reconstruction, he will utilize advanced surgical techniques to provide the most natural outcome after your MOHS surgery.
AFTER THE SURGERY
Post-operative wound care is as important as the surgery itself to ensuring the best cosmetic outcome of your Facial Reconstruction. After the surgery, there will be a bandage over the incisions. This bandage will be removed the following day. Some patients prefer to have Dr. Bassichis remove the bandage, and those requests are always met. Following removal of the bandage, antibiotic ointment is applied to the incisions 3-4 times daily to maintain a clean, moist healing environment. Three days after the operation, the incision can be exposed to water for routine bathing. However, lakes, pools, and other non-tap water sources should be avoided during the first few weeks after the procedure. One week following surgery, Dr. Bassichis will remove the sutures. Two to three weeks post-operatively, the incision will be examined to ensure it is healing properly. At approximately the sixth post-operative week, further procedures to refine the appearance of your incision may be indicated. Dermabrasion is a specialized technique that can help camouflage surgical scars. Additionally, incisions with persistent redness can be treated with laser therapy to minimize their appearance.
The staff at the Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery Center is devoted to caring for our Facial Reconstruction patients throughout their entire surgical and post-surgical process. Dr. Bassichis' special interest in facial reconstruction evokes comfort and confidence in his patients, as well as excellent results. We look forward to caring for you at the Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery Center.