Appointments Referring Phsyicians
The Ohio State University Plastic Surgery
915 Olentangy River Road, Suite 2140
Columbus, OH 43212
Ph: 614.259.7920
Fax: 614.293.9024

News & Events

Skin Cancer and Reconstruction

Skin Cancer and Reconstruction

 

As summer is now in full swing and many people will be enjoying long hours outdoors, this is a great opportunity to remind people to protect themselves from the sun with shade and sunscreen, and to regularly examine their skin for any abnormalities.

 

Sunlight is one of the primary causes of skin cancer, which is the most common form of cancer in the United States.  Skin cancers can take on a variety of appearances, so anyone with a new, changing, or abnormal appearing lesion on their skin should seek medical evaluation.  Early diagnosis is important to ensure that skin cancers do not invade surrounding tissue or spread to other parts of the body.  Often times, one’s primary care physician or a dermatologist can make the diagnosis, and refer patients to a plastic surgeon for treatment.

 

Plastic surgeons are specifically trained to treat skin cancers.  This most commonly involves removal of the skin cancer with surgery.  In most cases, these procedures are readily performed in the clinic under local anesthesia similar to what one gets at the dentist.  Not only are plastic surgeons trained to remove skin cancers, but additionally they are trained to repair and reconstruct the “hole” that is left over once the skin cancer is removed.

 

There are numerous ways to perform reconstruction after skin cancer excision, including simple closure into a line scar, rearrangement of surrounding tissues, and transfer of tissues from other parts of the body.  In all cases, the primary goal in plastic surgery is to restore form and function, and confer patients with the best aesthetic result.

 

In cosmetically sensitive areas (such as the face or the hand), plastic surgeons often perform reconstruction after Mohs surgery.  Mohs surgeons are dermatologists who are specially trained in a technique where only the minimum amount of tissue necessary to treat a skin cancer is removed.  Typically, the Mohs surgeon will remove the skin cancer on one day, and the following day a plastic surgeon will perform the reconstruction.

 

If you believe you may have a skin cancer, or a “pre-cancer”, or aren’t sure, feel free to contact our office and we can guide you to ensure that you receive the appropriate evaluation.

 

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