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Skin Cancer Removal and Reconstruction in Birmingham AL

Specialized Techniques to Remove Skin Lesions

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According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, accouting for half of all cancers in the United States. Fortunately, most skin cancers are highly curable with early detection and treatment.

The surgeons at our Birmingham, Alabama plastic surgery center use specialized techniques for Skin Cancer Removal to remove cancerous and other skin lesions while preserving your health and appearance.

As a reconstructive procedure, skin cancer removal is often covered by health insurance. Be sure to consult with your insurance company in advance of any surgery.

Skin Cancer Removal Risks and Safety

Each patient mst decide if the risks and potential complications of skin cancer removal are acceptable. These risks include:

Skin grafts have an added risk that the graft may not "take" and additional surgery may be necessary to close the wound.

Skin cancer removal risks will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It's important that you address all of your concerns about risks with your plastic surgeon. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure.

Skin Cancer Procedures

Depending on the size, type and location of the lesion, there are many ways to remove skin cancer and, if necessary, reconstruct your appearance. This section covers some of the possible procedure steps involved in skin cancer removal surgery.

Skin cancer removal is performed using local, intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Your surgeon will recommend the best choice for you.

Skin Cancer Removal

Skin cancer excision before and after
Skin cancer excision

A small or contained lesion may be removed with excision, a simple surgical process to remove the lesion from the skin. Closure is most often performed in conjunction with excision.

Skin cancer that is visible on the skin's surface is sometimes only a small portion of the growth. Beneath the skin, the cancerous cells may cover a much larger region and lack defined borders. In these cases, your plastic surgeon may use frozen sections during skin cancer removal to define the borders of the cancerous area. Frozen sections are small parts of the tissue that are removed and immediately sent to the pathologist. These pieces of tissue are then quickly frozen so they can be examined for cancer cells at the time of removal of the cancer. This helps your plastic surgeon ensure that all of the cancer has been removed.

A specialized technique called Mohs surgery is performed through the use of multiple specially prepared frozen sections. The goal is to look for a clear margin, an area where the skin cancer has not spread. If clear margins are found, the resulting wound can be reconstructed. If clear margins are not present, the surgeon will remove more tissue until the entire region has a clear margin.

Skin Cancer Reconstruction

Skin cancer reconstruction before and after
Skin cancer reconstruction

A skin cancer lesion that is particularly large, is being removed with frozen sections, or is likely to cause disfigurement may be reconstructed with a local flap.

Adjacent healthy tissue is repositioned over the wound. The suture line is positioned to follow the natural creases and curves of the face, if possible, to minimize the resulting scar. Several variations of local flap procedures may be used to reconstruct a specific area of the face or body. More complex wounds may require more than one procedure to achieve a satisfactory result.

Your surgeon may choose to treat your wound with a skin graft instead of a local flap. A skin graft is a thin bit of skin removed from one area of the body and relocated to the wound site.

Skin Cancer Removal Recovery

After your skin cancer has been removed and any primary reconstruction is completed, a dressing or bandages will be applied to your incisions.

Incision sites may be sore, red or drain small amounts of fluid during your skin cancer removal recovery. Be sure to keep your incision sites clean and well-protected from injury. Follow all wound care instructions such as cleansing and applying topical medications as directed.

Try to limit movement that may stress your wound and your sutures. The surgical incisions should not be subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion or motion during the time of healing.

You will be able to return to light activity as instructed by your surgeon.

Skin Cancer Removal Results

Although every effort is made to restore your appearance as closely and naturally as possible, the most important factor is that your skin cancer is effectively removed.

Your surgeon will advise you about any postoperative treatment recommendations. In some cases, secondary procedures may be required to complete or refine your reconstruction. Follow-up is extremely important for early detection of any new skin lesions.

It may take a year or more for incision lines to refine and fade to some degree. You may see textural, color or other visible differences of the skin in reconstructed areas.

Always avoid sun exposure after skin cancer removal or reconstruction. Sun exposure may result in irregular pigmentation and scars that can become raised, red or dark. The sun can also increase the risk of skin cancer development elsewhere on the body.

Skin Cancer Removal Words to Know

Procedure Information © American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Hedden and Gunn Plastic Surgery

The plastic surgeons at Hedden & Gunn are experienced in removing skin cancer lesions and techniques to reconstruct your appearance.

Birmingham, AL Office & Surgery Suites

Hedden & Gunn Plastic Surgery
140 Village Street
Birmingham, AL 35242
205-980-1744 or 800-HeddenMD
American Society of Plastic Surgeons * American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery *
* Dr. William Hedden, Dr. Stephen Gunn
Hedden and Gunn Plastic Surgery

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Questions About Skin Procedures?

If you have any questions about Skin Cancer Removal and Reconstruction, please contact our Birmingham, AL plastic surgery center today.

To schedule your consultation at the earliest possible date, please call 205-980-1744.

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