Most small lesions may be removed and the wound edges stitched; this is called 'direct closure'. When a larger lesion has been removed however, this may not be possible, and a plastic surgery reconstructive technique will be required. Plastic surgical reconstruction may also be considered when a lesion is excised from a particular area of the face, for example the nose (where the skin is tight) or around the eye to avoid pulling on the eyelid.
There are 2 main techniques of plastic surgery reconstruction, skin graft or local skin flap. A skin graft is a piece of skin that is taken from another part of the body and applied to the wound, which it grows on to. The skin graft may be either a split skin graft, a very thin shaving of skin usually taken from the leg or arm, or a full thickness skin graft which is a thicker piece of skin taken from behind the ear, above the collar bone or groin. A split skin graft leaves a wound similar to a graze, and this takes 2 or 3 weeks to slowly heal. The choice of which type of skin graft is used depends on the size and location of the wound; full thickness skin grafts are more often used on the face, split skin grafts on the scalp.
A skin flap involves moving a piece of skin from one side of the wound in order to allow the wound to be stitched. This technique is particularly useful near the eye or mouth, or on the nose. Additional cuts are required when doing a skin flap reconstruction.
Skin cancers frequently involve the face. Curative treatment is essential, but an excellent cosmetic result is also very important. As a Plastic Surgeon, I will ensure the best possible cosmetic outcome. I pride myself on meticulous surgical technique, founded on extensive experience.