Plastic Surgery for Skin Cancer Removal

Skin cancer affects millions of people in the U.S. each year. When identified early and removed, most types of skin cancer are treatable. Moh’s surgery is one of the most effective ways to remove skin cancer cells and stop the spread of this deadly disease. Unfortunately, this surgery does require layers of skin and tissue be removed to ensure all the cancer is gone. To reduce disfigurement, plastic surgery can be performed during or after Moh’s surgery to preserve a natural appearance.

Many skin cancer lesions appear on the face, neck, arms or chest where the skin is more likely to be exposed. When skin cancer is removed through Moh’s surgery, it can leave a hole where the skin and tissue was removed. While many surgeons and dermatologists can perform Moh’s surgery, they may not have the skills to restore the skin and tissue appearance.

Restoration Facial Plastic Surgery

Many times, skin cancer can occur on facial features. When removed with Moh’s surgery from eyelids, lips or the nose, it can alter the appearance of the face. Facial reconstruction to restore the skin and tissue can help patients recovering from skin cancer feel and look like themselves again. Noses can be reshaped; lips or eyelids can be reconstructed. Skin, cartilage and tissue grafts can be used to replace what was removed during skin cancer removal.

If you or a loved one is facing skin cancer removal or already had Moh’s surgery, consider consulting a plastic surgeon. There are options available to reconstruct lost skin and tissue from Moh’s surgery and restore a natural appearance. Fighting cancer is difficult enough – survivors deserve to look and feel like themselves after the cancer is removed.

Posted on behalf of:
New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai
310 East 14th Street
6th Floor, North Bldg
New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 381-6110

Mohs Surgery for Skin Cancer

Over 2 million new cases of skin cancer are reported in the United States each year.  Most skin cancers are classified as non-melanomas  and affect the basal or squamous cells. Melanoma skin cancers start in the melanocytes and are much more dangerous than non-melanomas. 

Both types of skin cancers have a high rate of cure if they are detected and treated early enough.  Mohs surgery is one of the most effective treatments for basal and squamaous cell skin cancers. Studies have shown that Mohs surgery has a cure rate of over 99% for initial cancers and 95% for recurrent cancers.  Mohs surgery can also be used to treat melanomas in certain situations.

One of the most important considerations in treating skin cancer is the removal of the entire tumor which is usually not completely visible to the naked eye.  When the tumor is on the face or other exposed area of the body, the goal is to remove all of the tumor while minimizing the removal of healthy tissue to minimize unsightly scarring. 

Mohs surgery is a microscopic surgery that removes all of the cancerous tissue while ensuring the maximum amount of healthy tissue is retained.  The surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia.

For skin cancers on the face, the best aesthetic outcomes are often achieved by using a Mohs surgical team that includes a Mohs surgeon and a facial plastic surgeon who specializes in Mohs surgery.  The Mohs surgeon will remove the tumor and the facial plastic surgeon will close the wound which results in the highest possible cure rate and minimal visible scarring.