Skin cancer is an increasingly prevalent condition. Mohs surgery has very high success rates in skin cancer removal, but may leave a significant defect in the area where the skin cancer is removed. Many times, a missing portion of the face following Mohs surgery may appear larger than the patient expected, leading to increased anxiety. Reconstructive surgery following Mohs excision is aimed at restoring a patient back to normal.
After your consultation with a plastic surgeon, you will be reassured that there are many techniques available to restore your normal appearance, even when there are significant portions of the nose, eyelids, or cheeks excised to remove a skin cancer.
Reasons for Considering Reconstruction After Mohs Surgery
- To correct areas of missing tissue in obvious places (like the face)
- To restore a normal appearance following skin cancer excision
Areas of missing tissue following Mohs excision of skin cancers can come in many shapes and forms. There are a number of techniques and procedures available depending on which areas of the face (or other areas of the body) have been affected. In general, wounds can be allowed to heal on their own, can be closed with skin grafts, or may be closed using flaps of skin from adjoining or other areas. Your surgeon will evaluate the proposed area of excision or the area that has already been excised and discuss options with you to determine a final reconstructive plan.
- Anesthesia: Local or general
- Length of surgery: 30 minutes to 2 hours
- Length of stay: Outpatient (home the same day) typically. But may require an overnight stay in the hospital depending on the complexity involved.
Recovery Process and Final Result
- Back to work: 3 to 7 days
- Exercise: May resumed in 2 weeks
- Discomfort: Typically mild
- Swelling: Mild to moderate
- Bruising: Common, generally resolves within 7 to 10 days
Depending on the complexity of your situation, reconstructive options may involve one procedure or may take several procedures to achieve a final result. Your surgeon will help you develop a plan and discuss this with you in more detail during your consultation.