Skin cancer of the face often occurs due to its exposure to sun and UV rays. They vary in their seriousness and include three main types; basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma skin cancers. A skin biopsy is commonly performed during the initial assessment so that a well informed recommendation can be made regarding the best treatment. The choice of treatment available is based on the size, type and depth of penetration of the tumour.
Surgical removal/excision of skin cancers
Surgical excision is a procedure to cut out the cancer from the skin along with surrounding health issue to ensure the cancer is completely removed. Lesions on the face are usually removed using a local anaesthetic which stings for a few seconds but then makes the area to be removed completely numb to pain. Most people feel some movement of the skin and perhaps a little pressure but comfort is always ensured so that a person is as relaxed as possible. The lesion removed is always sent away for microscopic examination. Small fine stitches will be used to minimise scaring on the face and these will be removed soon after surgery without discomfort. We will provide you with comprehensive advice as to how to look after the wound to further minimise scaring.
Skin Flaps and Reconstruction
Sometimes an area of skin is missing once a lesion has been removed. This will require reconstruction and careful consideration is needed to establish the best option for that individual person. There are number of options available including closing the skin edges together directly, leaving the skin to heal over by itself underneath a dressing (secondary intention healing), skin grafting and skin flaps. The best options will be discussed together with the advantages and disadvantages of each.