While treatment of your skin cancer is of primary concern, reconstruction of the treated area is also important. After Dr. Smith is confident that all of the cancer has been removed, together you will determine how the wound will be repaired. In addition to removing skin cancer, Dr. Smith has extensive specialized reconstructive surgery experience for repairing the wound.
While Dr. Smith might be able to give you an idea of whether your reconstruction should take place immediately after surgery or be delayed until later, it’s impossible to know the extent of the cancer in advance.
After determining that the affected area is cancer free and reconstruction is necessary, Dr. Smith will review reconstructive surgery options with you. Depending on the size of the tumor-free skin defect, one of the following options will be selected:
- Small, simple wounds may be allowed to heal by themselves (known as secondary-intention healing)
- Slightly larger wounds may be closed with stitches in a side-to-side fashion
- Larger or more complicated wounds may require a skin graft from another area of the body or a flap, which closes the defect with skin adjacent to the wound
- On some occasions, the patient may be referred to another reconstructive surgical specialist