For patients who have undergone facial skin cancer removal, facial reconstructive surgery may be necessary to restore the natural shape of the face.
Double board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Eric Yavrouian provides facial cosmetic surgery and reconstructive procedures to patients in Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, Greater Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, CA, and surrounding locations.
The patient should set up a consultation appointment with a surgeon who is a specialist in facial reconstructive surgeries after cancer treatment. The surgeon and patient should discuss various aspects of the procedure such as possibilities of correction. The patient will also be able to discuss their goals from the procedure and the outcomes that they seek.
The surgeon will explain the procedure and its long-term advantages in-depth to the patient. Each patient requires a unique surgical approach, and the surgeon will determine which treatment plan and technique are suitable for a specific patient.
Patients with more extensive facial skin cancers, recurrent skin cancers or cancers on sensitive facial sites such as the lips, ears, nose, and eyelids may be ideal candidates for coordinated care between the Mohs dermatologists and a facial reconstructive surgeon.
In general, the Mohs surgeon excises the tumor on a particular day. On the following day, the plastic surgeon may undertake the facial reconstructive surgery.
Key Aspects of the Procedure
The options for reconstructive surgery include flaps (local tissue rearrangement) and skin grafts, as well as complicated transfers of bone, skin and/or cartilage to accomplish balance and symmetry in the face. The patient’s feedback will guide the surgeon to determine the most suitable reconstructive approach for their unique needs.
The surgeon will try to balance the complexities of the reconstruction surgery with the patient’s aesthetic goals to attain the best possible cosmetic and functional outcomes.
Post-Mohs Facial Reconstruction Options
Post-Mohs facial reconstructive surgery does not have one standard “formula” as the amounts, areas, and types of tissues impacted vary between patients. But some commonly used techniques are as follows:
- Flap techniques: This technique is most commonly utilized for post-Mohs facial reconstruction.
- Bone grafting: Bone is usually sourced from the skull and shaped for placement in the treated site.
- Cartilage grafting: The ear is the most common donor area for cartilage. However, the surgeon may also source cartilage from the rib cage.
- Tissue expansion: For a small number of patients, tissue expanders are used.
- Skin grafts: Facial reconstruction often involves the use of skin grafts.
After the Reconstructive Surgery
An important aspect to understand is that for around 15 percent of patients, facial reconstruction following skin cancer removal is undertaken in at least two phases. This occurs largely when specific flap techniques are utilized. In the first phase, the surgeon creates and repositions the flap. The second phase involves separating the flap and its blood supply from its original site.
This means that after the patient recovers and the blood supply to the wound has been adequately established, they may require another surgery to complete the reconstructive procedure. In surgical procedures that do not involve the use of the flap technique, the patient may still need additional procedures to achieve their aesthetic goals.
Judicious facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Eric Yavrouian receives patients from Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, Greater Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, CA, and nearby areas.
For more information about treatments and procedures by Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Dr. Eric J. Yavrouian, serving patients in and around Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank and the Greater Los Angeles, CA area call 818-241-2150 or click here to contact him for a consultation.