Plastic surgeons are usually asked to treat skin cancers in cosmetically sensitive areas or when more complex reconstruction is required.
We are often asked to see patients with skin cancer by our dermatology colleagues or by GPs. We can offer surgical removal of skin cancers such as Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma. The aim is to remove the tumour completely while minimising the functional and cosmetic outcomes. We are also well equipped to deal with any reconstruction that may be required such as skin grafts or local flaps.
Skin cancer overview
TYPE OF ANAESTHETIC
LENGTH OF SURGERY
TIME IN HOSPITAL
Few days off work, 4-6 weeks before strenuous exercise
Skin cancer removal
As Plastic Surgeons, we have huge experience in the treatment and management of patients with skin cancer.
Most of our patients are referred to us by their general practitioners or by our dermatology colleagues. You may have already had a small biopsy confirming that you have skin cancer. The remaining growth will then need to be removed.
There are different types of skin cancer that pose different risks. The common types of cancer are:
- Basal cell carcinoma – most common type – slow growing – cannot spread to other parts of the body
- Squamous cell carcinoma – can grow quickly and have the capacity to spread to other parts of the body
- Malignant melanoma – usually present as dark moles – least common but can spread to other parts of the body
We will be able to provide you with detailed information about different skin cancers and the risks they pose. The majority of skin cancers are cured by simple removal. You may require reconstruction with a skin graft or by rearranging skin around the defect (local flap). You may require further investigations such as scans.
The priority is always to ensure complete removal of the skin cancer whilst limiting the functional and cosmetic impact removal may have.
What are the risks?
The risks of minor skin surgery include bleeding, infection, delayed wound healing, permanent scarring (of variable quality) and the risk of recurrence of the lesion.