Undergoing skin cancer treatment may result in scars or disfigurement which can also be concerning, especially if the cancer removal is located on the facial tissue. Dr Carmen understands your concerns and will delicately address the effects skin cancer has on your health and site of treatment.
The topic of skin cancer has become prevalent in recent years thanks, at least in part, to the media generating awareness around the dangers and prevention of skin cancer, as well as the advancement in technologies to remove cancerous skin lesions.
Through the use of advanced techniques and technology, Dr Carmen is able to surgically remove skin cancer, and reconstruct your appearance if necessary.
For the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer, the success rate is high provided the cancer is detected and treated early by an experienced surgeon.
Planning your skin cancer removal
During your pre-operative consultation Dr Carmen will listen carefully to your concerns, and answer any of your questions regarding the procedure.
You will also be asked a number of questions regarding your health and your lifestyle. It is important to answer these questions honestly and openly to ensure the safety and success of your treatment.
Depending on the location and severity of your skin cancer, the procedure may be performed in our offices, or at a hospital. This will be decided during your consultation.
Dr Carmen will also advise if you will require sedation for the procedure.
The particulars of your surgery will be dependent on the size, type and location of your skin cancer, and whether reconstruction will be required following the removal.
For your comfort, you will normally be administered with either local or general anaesthetic, or invtravenous sedation.
Skin cancers are a little like icebergs; often what you can see on the skin is only a part of the growth beneath the skin where there are not necessarily defined borders. As such, it may be necessary to remove extra tissue around the site to ensure no cancerous cells are left behind.
There is a very high chance a form of skin cancer will return if the cancerous cells are not completely removed at the time of initial surgery. If this occurs, the cancer can grow for a substantial period of time concealed by the previous surgical scar. The subsequent treatment for the recurrent cancer is much more extensive.
If reconstruction is required, Dr Carmen may either use a piece of adjacent tissue to close the wound, or a skin graft from another area of the body.
The technique chosen will depend on your unique circumstances, and will be decided on during your pre-operative consultation.
Recovery and aftercare
It is likely that you will experience soreness, redness, and some fluid drainage at the site of the incision.
To ensure the optimum outcome after your surgery, it is important to follow the aftercare instructions you are provided with. Please also try to limit movement which may stress the wound, and keep the site clean and well protected.
Healing will continue for many weeks, and even months following your surgery. Incision lines should begin to improve and fade over this time, but it may take more than a year for this to begin.
Exposing the wound site to sun may result in irregular pigmentation and raised, dark, or red scarring. It could also increase the likelihood of further skin cancers developing, so it’s best to ensure you’re using adequate sun protection at all times.
While Dr Carmen will make every effort to provide a pleasing outcome, unfortunately no reconstruction will ever be perfect; visible scars will always remain and you may also notice other visible differences such as texture and colour.
Patients who have undergone skin cancer removal have a higher risk of developing further skin cancers. For this reason, it is essential to continue self-examination of any skin abnormalities, and to visit Dr Carmen regularly for check-ups.
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