Plastic surgery can be used for a wide variety of things, but one of the most important roles it can have is saving someone’s life by removing skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type there is in the United States, and in 2010 it was reported that over 61,000 people in the country were diagnosed with versions of it. Skin cancer happens when there is an abnormal growth of skin cells that can be caused by many reasons. The biggest contributor to this kind of cancer is the sun and being exposed to too much UV light or radiation. However, some people can also get it by accidental exposure to substances that are highly toxic. The three types of skin cancer are: Basal Cell Carcinoma- pearly bumps on the skin, Squamous Cell Carcinoma- red flat lesions, and Melanoma- large brown and dark speckles.
A plastic surgeon can help anyone treat cancer in a few different ways that include radiation or freezing therapy and excisional surgery. One of the biggest benefits when it comes to having a plastic surgeon help you recover from skin cancer is that they are able to do the operation in a way that can cause the least amount of damage to your appearance and the overall health of your skin. Even though all surgeries come with some scarring, the doctors always put extra effort in to reduce the chances of them happening during your procedure. Sometimes, to get the best results, patients will have to undergo treatments more than once.
If you find yourself in a situation where you may be required to get plastic surgery to help with skin cancer, it is important to know that you will need to stop smoking for several weeks beforehand. This way, you can avoid the use of anti-inflammatory drugs during your procedure. The operation overall can be broken down into four basic sections: sedation, excision, reconstruction and bandaging. During the sedation part, the patient will have to undergo some local anesthetics in order of the plastic surgeon to operate on them. Then, the doctor will remove the hazardous skin tissue from your body and clean it out to stop it from spreading. Next is the reconstruction process in which skin the skin is normally grafted to look normal. Finally, after all of that there is the bandaging that should be left over the area until it will be able to heal over a finite amount of time.
Depending on how big your cancerous spot was and where on your body it was located is what will determine the recovery process for you. In addition to that, you will have to be in good health to heal at the fastest speed and follow the rules of your surgeon’s post operation guidelines and self-care. After you are able to go home from the hospital, the doctor will give you a strict set of rules to follow to ensure that you have a quick and successful recovery process. Some of the things that you will need to do to keep up with the treatment of your operation wounds are cleaning them out and changing the bandages regularly. You will need to keep your incision site clean and away from anything that could irritate it, or cause further stress or injury on it. It will be important to get as much rest as possible during your recovery, and it can take weeks or months until it feels better. After about a year you will notice your scars begin to fade.
Dr. Gregory H. Croll is the owner of his own practice, and the leading doctor for plastic surgery Columbia MO has to offer.