As the weather becomes warmer and sunny days are starting to outshine the rainy ones, many of us are beginning to think about sunscreen and protecting our skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Although more than 500,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed every year, thinking about sunscreen may be the last of your worries. Approximately 80 percent of all skin cancers are found on the face, head, and neck, and the cancer itself, as well as treatment options, can leave unsightly scars or damage. If you have undergone treatment for skin cancer and have suffered damage ranging from a minor scar to more permanent changes in the structures of your face or other parts of the body, there is hope for you yet.
When we think about reconstructive surgery following cancer, breast reconstruction often comes to mind. However, reconstructive surgery may be an important part of your skin cancer treatment plan, and will restore damaged tissues to renew the appearance -- as well as the function -- of the affected body part. The reconstructive techniques available for repairing damage resulting from skin cancer treatment vary from minor scar revisions to more significant procedures such as skin grafts, or even rebuilding portions of the body. Whatever the damage and technique used in the repair, the ultimate goal is to preserve your health, restore your appearance, and help you to feel and look whole again.
The first step in your reconstructive procedure following skin cancer treatment is to have a consultation with your Monarch Plastic Surgery specialist. During your consultation, don’t be afraid to bring up any questions or concerns you may have regarding your skin cancer and reconstructive needs.
Prior to consultation
Before your consultation, you may find it helpful to make some notes to help guide you when you meet with your plastic surgeon, particularly if you are feeling nervous about your appointment or are worried that you might forget important information. Your notes should include:
- A list of any questions or concerns you would like to discuss
- Your type of skin cancer and how it is or has been treated
- Additional medical history, including surgeries
- A list of your medications, vitamins, and supplements
During your consultation
If you are anxious about your consultation, you may find it helpful to bring a trusted friend or family member with you. Our goal is to make you feel comfortable enough to discuss any aspect of your skin cancer and reconstruction goals as freely as possible.
During your consultation, you should expect to discuss:
- Your overall health and health history
- Your cancer diagnosis and treatment thus far
- Your goals and options for reconstruction
- Your surgeon’s recommendations for your particular needs
- The most likely results of reconstruction surgery, as well as risks
Taking the next step
If you are ready to take the next step in your skin cancer recovery, call Monarch Plastic Surgery today at (913)317-9386 to schedule a consultation to learn more about your reconstructive surgery options. Ultimately, our goal is to help you lead a healthy, full life, and to feel complete.