Cancer – the word alone can cause tremendous stress. If the cancer is on your face, the stress can be even worse. Proper treatment of any cancer requires prompt removal, but when it’s in an exposed area like your face, nose or ears, scar placement and shape become extremely important.
Unlike the rest of the body, the face is a focal point of attention that is not easily hidden from view. For this reason, many patients choose to have their surgical defects, created from skin cancer removal, repaired by a facial plastic surgeon.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. It is highly prevalent in people who have had significant exposure to the sun throughout their childhood and into adulthood.
Where possible, Dr. Shaw will hide incisions in natural skin folds. Skin is very forgiving, and even larger defects can be covered by utilizing surrounding tissues to close wounds. Nearby skin may also be used to match the facial skin as closely as possible. Scars can be further treated after healing to improve appearance.
The first goal is to successfully remove the cancer, but it is followed closely by helping to restore your natural appearance.
Most reconstructions are performed under local anesthesia in the office. Larger repairs may be performed under twilight sedation in an ambulatory surgical center. Rarely is general anesthesia required.