Skin Reconstruction Treatments Mar 23, 2021 / by Complete Family Dermatology Team
At Complete Family Dermatology, patients are offered comprehensive care from the diagnosis to the follow-up. Following a skin cancer treatment or growth removal, skin reconstruction may be necessary to close the wound as a means to leave minimal scarring. Dr. Geoff Basler, MD has specialized training in reconstructive surgery, which will allow you to move on from surgery while bearing as few physical reminders as possible. Here is the breakdown of who we typically treat, the benefits, and the treatment methods of skin reconstruction:
Common Candidates for Skin Reconstruction
- Skin Cancer Patients - basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma
- Growth Removal Patients - moles, cysts, or fatty tumors
Benefits of Skin Reconstruction
- Removal of skin cancer or growth
- Minimal scarring
- Matching skin transfers to the area’s color and texture
- Restores function and form of the area
Skin Reconstruction Treatment Methods
- Primary Closure - Primary closure is often the simplest repair and used for minor lesions. This treatment closes a wound by using a side-to-side or a linear layered technique, which results in a thin white line. As a way to hide this scar, Dr. Basler can work with natural expression lines, like on the forehead or around the mouth.
- M-plasty - After a circle or oval wound is brought together by a primary closure, excess tissue can form at either end. For a smooth, clean result, these tissues (also known as dog ears) must be removed. M-plasty is a specialized technique that Dr. Basler often uses to smoothen and shorten the scar.
- Skin Graft - Depending on the extent of the treatment you receive, you may be left with a large wound. In this case, Dr. Basler may recommend a skin graft, which involves removing healthy skin from one part of your body and covering the damaged area with the graft, like a bandage. The graft can include skin, fat, bone, and/or cartilage, but it will depend on where the graft will be used based on its elasticity and thickness. The skin graft will be held in place with bandages or minimal stitching, but within three to five days the blood vessels will connect and grow into the graft. The grafted skin may not look like the surrounding area at first, but you can expect the pigmentation to blend over a year’s time.
- Skin Flap - A skin flap is another option for closing a wound after growth removal or another procedure. In this case, the skin flaps tissues are transplanted with their own blood supply. Tissues adjacent to the removal site can be repositioned to cover it, and the resulting wound can be strategically closed with sutures that will result in the least amount of scarring possible.