Skin Cancer Removal
If a healthcare provider suspects you have skin cancer, an Olmsted Medical Center (OMC) plastic surgeon can diagnose your condition, remove the cancer, and reconstruct the removal site—all in one visit. Rely on us to both protect your health and restore your appearance as much as possible.
Treating Skin Cancer
After a diagnosis of skin cancer, your plastic surgeon uses a specialized technique to remove lesions while affecting the smallest-possible amount of healthy skin. Removal, or excision, is simple when the cancerous area is small. But if the surgeon discovers more cancer beneath what’s visible on the skin’s surface, the doctor may need to take out more tissue.
If the area removed is large, the surgeon can repair your skin afterward by moving nearby healthy tissue over the wound to create a local flap. Or, the surgeon may use a small amount of skin from elsewhere on your body to make a skin graft for the wound. In either approach, your doctor will work to preserve your appearance but will prioritize treating the cancer.
Ask your surgeon whether you need follow-up treatment, such as radiation therapy. Protect your health by taking whatever steps your medical team gives you for self-care of the surgical site at home.
If your scar remains noticeable after a year, ask whether scar revision could improve its appearance.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with any type of skin cancer, you face a higher risk of developing the condition again. Take steps to prevent skin cancer, such as:
- Avoiding tanning beds
- Doing skin self-exams regularly
- Wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 every day, and apply it 15 minutes before going outside
- Wearing clothing that covers your skin, including a hat and sunglasses, when outdoors
Know how to recognize skin cancer if it appears, so you can seek timely treatment that improves your outcome.