Do you have a past history of severe sunburns or multiple and/or unusual-looking moles? Are you concerned about a family history of skin cancer? Expert plastic surgeons, such as Dr. Philip Chang of Aesthetica, can not perform your skin cancer screening, but can also remove skin cancer with the least possible scarring.
Plastic surgeons can recognize the subtle signs and symptoms of skin cancer (the most common form of cancer in the United States), and, because of their specialized training, they can provide the most aesthetically pleasing surgical result upon skin cancer removal.
A Painless Skin Cancer Screening
The plastic surgeon will first screen the patient with a full-body skin exam. This important tool will look for benign or cancerous lesions that people could not have seen or have recognized by themselves. In this thorough and painless (and certainly invaluable) test, the physician inspects the entire body – from the top of the head to in-between the toes – looking for any suspicious skin growths.
A Difficult Skin Cancer Diagnosis
Your plastic surgeon knows that a melanoma or carcinoma diagnosis can be extremely tough to accept. They can talk through any concerns you have and guide your treatment, explaining the impact on your health and appearance. Dr. Chang is particularly known for his caring bedside manner and the time he spends going through a patient’s options, listening to their concerns, and explaining everything as carefully as possible.
You may require skin cancer surgery to remove the growths. Using specialized techniques, the plastic surgeon can remove cancerous and other skin lesions to help to preserve your health and appearance. While scarring can’t be completely ruled out, plastic surgeons are expertly skilled in performing surgeries that leave the smallest and least noticeable scars.
Going Through the Skin Cancer Surgery Procedure
There are three major types of skin cancers: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. The location, type, and size of the lesion will determine how exactly the skin cancer is removed and the kind reconstruction that’s done, if any. Prior to the surgery, the patient will be administered medication for comfort. Depending on the procedure, this may be local, IV sedation, or general anesthesia.
A contained or small lesion may be removed with excision (a relatively simple procedure). The closure is most frequently performed in conjunction with excision.
Remember, sometimes what’s visible on the surface of the skin is just a small portion of the cancerous growth. Think of it like the tip of iceberg.
When a particularly large skin cancer lesion is removed, the plastic surgeon may reconstruct the area with a “local flap” to prevent any disfigurement. In this procedure, the surgeon will reposition healthy, nearby tissue over the wound. To lessen the obviousness of any scars, the suture lines are positioned to follow the body’s natural creases and curves, when possible. Instead of using a local flap, the surgeon also might opt to go with a skin graft. Here, the doctor removes a thin bit of skin from one spot on the body and relocates it to the cancer site.
After the surgeon removes the cancer and completes any primary reconstruction, bandages or dressing are applied to the area.
To schedule your skin cancer screening and consultation with Aesthetica, call (703) 729-5553.