Skin cancer, also known as Neoplasia, is one the most common types of cancer. It develops when damaged skin cells start to grow abnormally and uncontrollably.
Is skin cancer treatable?
Skin cancers are almost always curable. Common types are sometimes removed using ointments.
However, surgical removal remains the best option.
Am I a candidate for skin cancer surgery?
During your consultation, I will evaluate the severity of your skin cancer to decide whether or not it needs surgical removal.
If you are to undergo this surgery, you should be aware that treating skin cancer might lead to scarring. Specialized reconstructive techniques will be used to avoid disfigurement of your skin.
How is it done?
Depending on the size and severity of your skin cancer, the procedure can be done under general or local anesthesia. For small and contained skin lesions, the excision technique is used to remove the damaged cells and then close the incision.
In more developed skin cancers, where cancerous cells spread to cover a wider area under the skin with undefined borders, the lesions with cancerous cells are removed and simultaneously sent to the laboratory. As long as the analysis of these lesions shows the presence of cancer cells, more tissue will be removed until the margins show negative results.
The next phase of this procedure consists of a reconstructive surgery to replace the defect caused by the removal of the damaged tissue: either through a skin flap or a skin graft, which is taken from a neighboring skin surface to cover the wound. The incisions are then sutured, by following the natural curves and creases of the skin to minimize scarring.
How long is the recovery?
After closing the incisions, special bandages are applied on the surgical site. Sutures are removed within a week and the healing process of the scars will take several months as incision lines continue to improve.
Patients can resume a light activity the next day, avoiding strenuous activities that can stress the sutures. It is important for patients who have undergone this surgery to refrain from unprotected sun exposure and smoking, in order to avoid any cancer recurrence. You will be given all the instructions on how to care for your surgical site. Be sure to ask all the questions about what to expect during recovery period.
Disclaimer: The info presented on this page is indicative and for generic use only. Each patient’s case is unique and will be studied by Dr. Chadi Murr for full assessment.