Skin cancer may require oncoplastic surgery to remove the cancerous growth and preserve your health and appearance. While no surgery is without scars, Dr. Rancati is dedicated to treating skin cancer without dramatically changing your appearance.

Because he understands that treating your skin cancer may cause scars or disfigurement, which can be troubling, Dr. Rancati will guide you through treatment and the resulting aesthetic effect.

What to Expect Before & During Oncoplastic Surgery For Skin Cancer Tumors

The size, type, and location of skin cancer tumors determine how Dr. Rancati will remove them and reconstruct your appearance if necessary.

Some of the possible procedure steps involved in oncoplastic surgery for skin cancer tumors include:

  1. Anesthesia is administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures
  2. Dr. Rancati may remove a small or contained lesion with excision, a simple surgical process
  3. He will likely pair Closure with the excision

It is important to note that what is visible on the skin surface may be a small portion of the growth. Beneath the skin, the cancerous cells can cover a much larger region with no defined borders. In these cases, Dr. Rancati may remove small parts of the tissue before immediately sending them to the pathologist to discover and define the edges of the cancerous area. These pieces of tissue are quickly frozen so they can be examined for cancer cells at the time of cancer removal to ensure all cancer has been removed.

Alternatively, Dr. Rancati may recommend a specialized technique called Mohs surgery, which uses multiple specially prepared frozen sections to look for an area where the skin cancer has not spread. If clear margins are found, he can reconstruct the wound; otherwise, he will remove more tissue until the entire region has a clear margin.

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Reconstruction may be recommended under the following circumstances:

  • The skin cancer lesion is extensive
  • It is being removed with frozen sections
  • Removing the skin cancer lesion is likely to cause disfigurement

A local flap or adjacent tissue rearrangement repositions healthy, adjacent tissue over the wound. To minimize the appearance of the resulting scar, the suture line follows the natural creases and curves of the face. Dr. Rancati may use various local flap procedures to reconstruct a specific facial or body site, which Dr. Rancati will explain in more detail.

More complex wounds may require more than one oncoplastic surgery for skin cancer tumors to achieve the best results. Dr. Rancati may treat your injury with a skin graft, which removes a thin piece of skin from a healthy body area and relocates it to the wound site.

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Recovery & Results

During your recovery, incision sites may be sore, red, or drain small amounts of fluid. It is essential to follow all wound care instructions for your health and optimal results. Some of these instructions include:

  • Do not subject the surgical incisions to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion while healing
  • Cleanse and apply topical medications exactly as directed
  • Limit movement that may stress your wound and your sutures. You can resume light activity as instructed by Dr. Rancati.

It is imperative to avoid exposing healing wounds to the sun. Sun exposure can:

  • Produce irregular pigmentation
  • Cause scars to become raised, red, or dark
  • Increase the risk of developing skin cancer in another region of your body. Follow-up is critical for the early detection of any new skin lesions.

Healing can take up to one year as incision lines continue to improve and fade. Secondary procedures may be necessary to complete or refine your oncoplastic surgery results.

Regarding results, oncoplastic surgery closes the skin cancer defect, but visible scars will always remain at incision sites. You may also see textural, color, or other visible differences in the skin in reconstructed areas. And while we will make every effort to restore your appearance as seamlessly as possible, the primary objective is to remove the skin cancer tumor effectively.

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Risks & Side Effects of Oncoplastic Surgery For Skin Cancer Tumors

Oncoplastic surgery is generally a safe and effective treatment for skin cancer tumors. However, no procedure is without risk. Surgery for skin cancer tumor risks include:

  • Allergies to surgical materials
  • Common risks associated with anesthesia
  • Change in skin sensation
  • Damage to deeper structures, such as nerves, blood vessels, and muscles
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • Poor incision healing
  • Revision surgery
  • Recurrence of skin cancer
  • Systemic spread of skin cancer

Skin grafts have an added risk that your body may not accept the graft, necessitating additional surgery to close the wound.

Once you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, you are at a higher risk of developing another skin cancer. Because skin cancer may reoccur, the following are some ways you can best care for yourself:
Discuss the signs of skin cancer with your medical care team
Regularly perform self-examinations for suspicious lesions
Schedule an annual skin cancer screening

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