Skin cancer is a common problem among Miami residents because the Florida lifestyle means spending a lot of time outdoors. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, skin cancer develops in areas that are most often exposed to sunlight, such as the face. There are several options for treating skin cancer, yet Mohs surgery is considered the gold standard for treating skin cancer on the face. Although Dr. Lewen does not perform Mohs surgery himself, he does Mohs reconstruction surgery if necessary after a dermatologist has removed the skin cancer with Mohs surgery.
What is Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer describes a condition in which abnormal cells develop in multiple organs of the body, such as the skin. There are several types of skin cancer, including:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Of these, melanoma presents the most serious type of skin cancer because it can infiltrate the surrounding tissues and organs. Most cases of skin cancer involve basal cell carcinoma.
Skin Cancer Treatment Options
Treatment for skin cancer does vary slightly based on the type of cancer, but treatments may include:
- Excising the cancerous cells to include a margin of healthy tissue
- Radiation therapy
- Topical immunotherapy and radiation
- Curettage and electrodesiccation
- Mohs micrographic surgery
While each of these options may successfully remove or destroy the cancerous cells, there are disadvantages to most, such as scarring and side effects. Mohs micrographic surgery produces no side effects, and the technique involves removing the smallest amount of tissue necessary to remove the cancerous cells.
Mohs Surgery for Facial Skin Cancer
Dr. Lewen does not perform Mohs surgery, but he is happy to provide recommendations for patients and to perform any facial reconstruction surgery once the skin cancer has been removed. Mohs surgery offers exceptional precision when removing cancerous cells from the face. Rather than removing a large section of tissue with traditional excision, the doctor removes very thin layers of skin cells. Each layer is studied under a microscope to detect the presence of cancerous cells. If cancer is detected, the surgeon removes another thin layer of skin from the lesion and studies it under the microscope. This process is repeated until no cancer cells are detected. Depending on the size of the resultant wound, the surgeon may:
- Allow the wound to heal naturally
- Suture the wound closed
- Use skin grafts or flaps to cover the wound
Following the removal of any facial skin cancer, Dr. Lewen may perform facial reconstruction surgery afterward. He will choose a technique to help minimize scarring as well as preserve your vision and the delicate tissues around the eyes and cheeks. He may even recommend scar revision surgery at a future date to further camouflage the scar with the surrounding skin.
Interested in Mohs Surgery for Facial Skin Cancer? Contact Lewen Cosmetic Surgery.
If you have been diagnosed with or suspect that you have skin cancer on your face, contact Lewen Cosmetic Surgery to schedule a consultation. Dr. Lewen will determine if Mohs surgery and facial reconstruction is your best option, or recommend alternative treatments for the lesion.