Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common types of skin cancer in the United States. These skin cancers often affect the face and neck regions, and facial skin cancer can do so much more damage than just the initial sickness. Skin damage caused by facial skin cancer can really damage the life and livelihood of those afflicted. Luckily, there are a number of facial reconstruction surgeries and techniques to help those afflicted by these types of cancer. Careful and precise facial reconstruction surgery can help restore the aesthetic and functional parts of your self-image, but it requires a high level of expertise to be done correctly. To get a better picture of the facial reconstruction process, patients can review some of the common procedures below.

Primary Closure

A straightforward and relatively clean method of skin cancer repair is primary closure of the opening. Facial skin cancer often leaves circular openings, and a linear scar is generally less visible than a circular mark. The opening is extended by an amount dictated by the size of the opening in the skin, and the wound is slowly pulled together to create a more uniform line with less obvious stretching on either side of the scar.

Patient 6 Benign Tumor Removal Before and After

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Secondary Intention

Another method of healing is secondary intention. This method involves letting the opening heal on its own from the edges. The opening is cleaned and moisturized regularly, and the physician will need to check often to catch any possible infections before they become a problem. This method minimizes the size of the later scar to the size of the initial opening, but a circular scar is often more noticeable than a linear one. This is especially true on more visible parts of the head.

Skin Grafting

A third common method of repair is skin grafting. A sample of skin is taken from one part of the body and grafted onto the damaged region. The physician can precisely match the contour and color of the skin at the site of the opening, and the entire process is quick and reliable. The site the skin is taken from is highly controlled and sutured with a fine line to minimize scarring.

“We found Dr. Gocke to be excellent in treating my son, both on an emergency call to the ER and and then again when removing my son’s wisdom teeth. His treatments, manner, and staff are all first-rate.”

Lip Reconstruction

Lip reconstruction is often required following the trauma of skin cancer or any surgical procedure. Lips are most often affected by oral cancer and require reconstruction for both functional purposes, but equally for cosmetic reasoning. As an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Gocke has the experience to know the best methods of procedure to give you the best restored lips possible.

To Learn More, Contact Dr. Gocke

Overall, facial skin cancer is a harrowing experience, but the damage isn’t permanent. At Virginia Oral, Facial, and Implant Surgery, Dr. Gocke and his team are experts in cosmetic surgery and reconstruction. No matter what the damage is, Dr. Gocke will know what to do, and he has the expertise to do it right.

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For any patient in McLean and the Northern Virginia area that needs reconstruction surgery, come in or call (703) 388-2805 to schedule a consultation with Virginia Oral, Facial, and Implant Surgery today.