Skin Cancer Removal

What is this?

A Cancer diagnosis is difficult to accept and when you´re diagnosed with skin Cancer this could cause scars, disfigurement and much concern.  Skin Cancer may require surgery to eliminate the cancerous growth.

Dr. Dominguez can surgically remove skin Cancer or other lesions utilizing special techniques safeguarding your appearance and health.   Even though every surgery leaves a scar, Dr. Dominguez does everything possible to avoid a drastic change in your appearance.

Procedure

There are many procedures to eliminate skin cancer and, if necessary, to reconstruct your appearance, depending on size, type and location of lesion.

These are possible steps in the procedure to surgically eliminate skin cancer

Step 1 – Anesthesia

Medications are administered during your surgery.  Your options are intravenous sedative, local and general anesthesia.  Your doctor will recommend the best option for you.

Step 2.  Removal

Small contained lesions may be removed with an excision, a procedure where the skin is first numbed with a local anesthetic and the tumor is then cut out with a surgical knife, along with some surrounding normal skin. The remaining skin is carefully stitched back together. Even though a cancer growth is visible on the skin´s surface, it must be checked for wider spread of cancerous cells under the skin     Dr. Dominguez will use extracted frozen sections in order to fine and define cancer borders

Alternately, Dr. Dominguez may recommend a technique referred to as the  Mohs procedure which  is done by  the surgeon removing a very thin layer of the skin (including the tumor) .  While the patient waits, this layer is sectioned, frozen, stained and mapped in detail, then checked under a microscope thoroughly. If cancer is still present in the depths or peripheries of this excised surrounding tissue, the procedure is repeated on the corresponding area of the body still containing tumor cells until the last layer viewed under the microscope is cancer-free

Step 3 – Reconstruction

Skin cancer surgeries may result in scarring or disfigurement, especially in cases when a wide excision or other extensive surgery is necessary to remove a skin cancer, or when the surgery is performed on the face, head, neck or hands. This disfigurement can be resolved with a skin graft or skin flap-  The graft is laid onto the exposed area and stitched  in place following the face´s natural contour and folds if possible, to minimize scarring

Dr. Dominguez may decide to cover the wound with a skin grafts instead of a skin flap.  Skin grafts are layers of skin taken from another part of the body  and placed over the area where the cancer has been removed. A partial thickness (or split thickness) skin graft is where the epidermis and a part of the dermis layer is used. The skin is usually taken from the thigh, buttock or upper arm. Skin will grow back in this area.

Recovery

 

After skin cancer removal recovery the affected area may have irritation, redness or some drainage.

 It is very  important to follow all wound care instructions such as cleansing and applying topical medications exactly as directed. 

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

Make certain to keep your incision sites clean and well protected from potential injury. 

Try to limit movement that may stress your wound and your sutures. 

Sun exposure to healing wounds may result in irregular pigmentation and scars that can become raised, red or dark. Sun exposure may increase the risk of the development of skin cancer in another region of your body.

Results

 

In some cases, skin cancer treatment may cause disfigurement in your appearance 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.

Following your physician's instructions is essential to the success of your surgery. It's important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion or motion during the time of healing.

Doctor Dominguez will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.