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About skin cancer reconstruction

Choosing to have reconstructive plastic surgery after a Mohs skin cancer treatment can provide freedom after skin cancer. Many patients, after the trauma of dealing with skin cancer, go on to experience further discomfort and self-consciousness due to facial scarring. Skin cancer removal surgery can often leave unattractive and sometimes very deep scars or facial deformities. In seeking a plastic surgeon to perform reconstruction, it is critical to find the right provider.

Dr. Sidney Starkman is a fellowship-trained and board-certified facial plastic surgeon in Scottsdale, AZ who specializes in post-skin cancer treatment facial reconstruction. With his experience and skill, he can artfully repair the integrity of your facial skin by concealing small or large areas of tissue loss, as well as removing or reducing the appearance of scar tissue.

Dr. Starkman can work with your Mohs surgeon to deliver immediate reconstruction, or he can repair an existing defect. In any case, if you are interested in skin cancer reconstruction, please call Starkman Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery to schedule an initial consultation.

Ideal candidates for skin cancer reconstruction

Skin cancer patients of all ages who have undergone the Mohs treatment are candidates for reconstructive facial plastic surgery. To be eligible for this surgery, you must be cancer-free, in good mental health, and have no active infection. Dr. Starkman also personally performs limited types of Scottsdale skin cancer reconstruction on the face and neck, which he can then repair and reconstruct.

Skin Cancer Reconstruction Scottsdale

Ideal candidates for skin cancer reconstruction may have:

  • Scars or facial deformation from Mohs surgery
  • Lesions caused by radiation
  • Depressions left by the removal of large moles
  • Certain types of skin malignancies on the face or neck. During your initial consultation, Dr. Starkman will determine if he can excise the skin cancer himself. He may refer you to a Mohs surgeon.
Starkman Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery

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Surgical technique during skin cancer reconstruction

Dr. Starkman commonly receives referrals from general surgeons for their post-Mohs patients. Often, reconstruction surgery can be performed within a day of your Mohs surgery—or, it can be performed all in one surgery! During your consultation with Dr. Starkman, he will talk with you about the various surgical techniques he uses and discuss the best method or methods for your treatment.

Skin cancer plastic surgery is highly individualized, and depending on the wound(s), can involve a skin graft, the local flap technique, adjacent tissue transfer, stitching, or surgical closure. It is possible that you may need to have surgeries in stages, depending on the complexity or severity of your particular case.

Skin cancer reconstruction can last from 30 minutes to three hours and is performed in our on-site operating room with local and/or twilight anesthesia. Dr. Starkman's procedures typically heal nicely with the incisions well hidden; however, patients can request CO2 laser resurfacing if they feel their scars could be further reduced. Laser resurfacing should be scheduled six weeks or more after the reconstruction surgery.

Contact the office of Dr. Starkman to receive some of the best skin cancer reconstruction Scottsdale has to offer. 

What to expect following skin cancer reconstruction

Skin cancer reconstruction is performed as an outpatient procedure in our Scottsdale surgery center, allowing you to recover comfortably at home. You will need to keep your incisions covered for a few days, as well as use a topical ointment and ice packs for infection and swelling.

Our office will provide a full list of aftercare instructions to ensure the recovery goes as planned. We will also schedule your follow-up appointments, allowing Dr. Starkman to monitor the healing process. 

It is also important that you sleep sitting up, or with your head above your heart, and avoid any strenuous exercise for 2 – 3 weeks. Protecting your skin from sun exposure is also crucial, so you will need to use sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face. The results of your reconstructive surgery should begin to be visible within 2 – 3 weeks. You will look and feel better each day as your incisions heal, and patients typically see their ultimate outcome after about six months. However, it is important to remember that scars can last a year or more.

FAQ

How much does skin cancer reconstruction cost?

Your cost for skin cancer plastic surgery will depend on how many areas of the face need to be treated and which techniques are used. Skin cancer reconstruction is often covered by your insurance provider. During your consultation with Dr. Starkman, he will go over your options and create your treatment plan. Once your plan is completed, he will be able to more accurately discuss the cost. Our office accepts most medical financing options, including CareCredit.

Will I have scars?

There will be some scarring, but it will be significantly less than the initial defect. The first sign of results will come after about three weeks, and every day after that will bring further improvement. Scars, depending on their severity, can last a year or longer, but you should be able to see your final outcome by around six months after your reconstruction surgery. Dr. Starkman's procedures typically heal nicely with the incisions well hidden; however, patients can request to have CO2 laser resurfacing if they feel their scars could be further reduced. Laser resurfacing can be scheduled approximately six weeks after the reconstruction surgery.

Why is a plastic surgeon better than a dermatologist?

Dermatologists and general surgeons are definitely qualified to remove skin cancer growths. However, plastic surgeons, especially facial plastic surgeons, are highly trained in preserving the appearance of skin and ensuring the most natural-looking results. For complex reconstructive surgery, it is best for patients to choose an experienced plastic surgeon to ensure their incisions are closed cleanly and evenly.

When should I have my skin cancer reconstruction surgery?

Dr. Starkman often receives referrals for reconstruction surgery from dermatologists performing Mohs treatments. Through this type of referral, or on your own, it is best if you make an appointment with Dr. Starkman before your skin cancer removal procedure so he can coordinate with your doctor. The timing of reconstruction surgery varies by patient, but it can be done on the same day as the removal procedure, the day after, or much later. Some patients wait to see how their removals will heal naturally before deciding to have reconstructive plastic surgery.

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Reconstruction after Mohs

If you are seeking reconstruction following skin cancer removal surgery, it is crucial that you choose a skilled, experienced plastic surgeon. Dr. Starkman specializes in facial plastic surgery and has years of experience with facial reconstruction. Contact Starkman Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery in Scottsdale, AZ for a consultation today.

A MESSAGE FROM DR. STARKMAN CONCERNING COVID-19

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A MESSAGE FROM DR. STARKMAN CONCERNING COVID-19

We are excited to announce that we have resumed seeing patients on a limited basis for select visits and procedures. The majority of our new patient consultations and follow-up checks will be done via telemedicine to minimize patient traffic to the office.

Patient safety has always been our number one priority, and we are implementing the following policies to meet and exceed safety standards for our patients. We greatly appreciate your compliance and understanding.

  1. Dr. Starkman and all clinical staff will wear N95 masks and eye protection for the entirety of each patient’s visit.
  2. Patient appointment confirmation must be completed 24 hours prior to the appointment.
  3. Patient screening will consist of a screening questionnaire and a temperature check. Any patient with risk factors or a fever will be rescheduled.
  4. We are instituting a “No Waiting in the Waiting Room” Policy. Patients will be immediately screened and escorted to their private exam room.
  5. Surgical-grade air recirculators have been installed in each patient room to recycle each room’s air every 4 minutes.
  6. Guests, children, or visitors other than the patient will be limited.
  7. Pre-operative COVID-19 testing will be obtained 4-5 days prior to any scheduled procedure.
  8. Patients will enter our main entrance and exit out of our side exit. The one-way flow of traffic will allow for a comprehensive cleaning of the waiting room prior to the next patient.

We appreciate the understanding and patience of all of you. We can’t wait to see you all again. Dr. Starkman and Staff

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