Skin Cancer Removal/Reconstruction
With over 3.5 million new cancers diagnosed each year, skin cancer is increasingly common and it is currently the most common type of cancer in the United States. During the course of their lifetime one in every five Americans will develop skin cancer. Fortunately, with early diagnosis and treatment, it can be effectively treated and most often, cured. Dr. Joseph O’Connell is a member of the Skin Cancer Foundation and he commonly removes benign skin lesions such as “moles” as well as some types of skin cancers. The vast majority of these are performed in our office under local anesthesia. Dr. O’Connell also performs reconstruction following removal of skin cancers. Most occur on the face and we believe that the specialized techniques of plastic surgery can yield a superior aesthetic result when plastic surgeons are involved with the treatment of skin cancer.
Skin Cancer FAQs
Not every lesion of the skin is a skin cancer and sometimes they can be cosmetically unattractive or get in the way of activities such as shaving. Benign lesions of the skin are commonly removed at Plastic Surgery of Southern Connecticut and our goal is to provide our patients with the least visible scarring possible.
While other types exist, there are three broad types of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma.
Mohs micrographic surgery is a technique performed by specially trained dermatologists where the tumor is removed followed by detailed mapping and microscopic examination of the cancer and the surrounding margins. The important point is that because the tissue is examined during the procedure, the likelihood of complete tumor removal is maximized while the removal of normal tissue is minimized. With the tumor removed the plastic surgeon can then repair the defect knowing that it is unlikely that any cancer has been left behind.
While reconstructive plastic surgery can often be performed at a later time, the best aesthetic results are likely to occur when the defect is reconstructed immediately following completion of Mohs surgery.