ReconstructionConveniently located to serve Chicago and North Shore
Skin Cancer Reconstruction
Choosing to have reconstructive surgery after skin cancer treatment or facial trauma is an important step in the healing process. Many patients, after the trauma of dealing with cancer or trauma, go on to experience further discomfort and self-consciousness due to facial scarring. Skin cancer removal surgery and trauma can often leave unattractive and sometimes very deep scars or facial deformities. In seeking a surgeon to perform reconstruction, it is critical to find the right provider.
Dr. John Rachel is a quadruple board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Chicago, IL, who specializes in facial reconstruction. With his experience and skill, he can artfully repair the integrity of your facial skin by concealing small or large areas of tissue loss, as well as removing or reducing the appearance of scar tissue. If you are planning on having Mohs surgery, Dr. Rachel can work with your Mohs surgeon to deliver reconstruction, or he can repair an existing defect.
Ideal Candidates for Skin Cancer Reconstruction
Skin cancer patients of all ages who have undergone cancer removal surgery are candidates for reconstructive facial plastic surgery. To be eligible for this surgery, you must be cancer-free, in good mental health, and have no active infection. Dr. Rachel also personally performs skin cancer removal, which he can then repair and reconstruct.
Surgical Techniques for Skin Cancer Reconstruction
Dr. Rachel commonly receives referrals from dermatologist for their post-Mohs patients. Often, reconstruction surgery can be performed within a day of your Mohs surgery. During your consultation, Dr. Rachel will talk with you about the various surgical techniques available and discuss the best method or methods for your treatment.
Skin cancer surgery is highly individualized, and depending on the wound(s), can involve a skin graft, local flaps, adjacent tissue transfer, stitching, or surgical closure. It is possible that you may need to have surgeries in stages, depending on the complexity or severity of your reconstruction.
Skin cancer reconstruction is performed as an outpatient procedure in our AAAHC accredited surgery center, allowing you to recover comfortably at home. You will need to keep your incisions covered for a few days, as well as use a topical ointment and ice packs for infection and swelling.
Protecting your skin from sun exposure is also crucial, so you will need to use sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face. The results of your reconstructive surgery should begin to be visible within 2 – 3 weeks. You will look and feel better each day as your incisions heal, and patients typically see their ultimate outcome after about six months. However, it is important to remember that scars can remodel for a year or more.
Been going here for 10+ years. Dr. Rachel discovered a skin cancer issue that was easily resolved before it became a bigger problem when other doctors wanted to wait & watch it. Every single person you come across in his office is amazing. It is a rare find, a small town feel with care that is second to none. Every team member seems truly happy to be there. Lucky to have found their team!
Reconstruction Surgery FAQ
How much does skin cancer reconstruction cost?
Your cost for skin cancer surgery will depend on how many areas of the face need to be treated and which techniques are used. Skin cancer reconstruction is often covered by your insurance provider. During your consultation with Dr. Rachel, he will go over your options and create your treatment plan. Once your plan is completed, he will be able to more accurately discuss the cost. Our office accepts most medical financing options, including CareCredit.
Will I have scars?
There will be some scarring, but it will be significantly less than the initial defect. The first sign of results will come after about three weeks, and every day after that will bring further improvement. Scars, depending on their severity, can last a year or longer, but you should be able to see your outcome by around six months after your reconstruction surgery.
Why is a plastic surgeon better than a dermatologist?
Dermatologists and general surgeons are definitely qualified to remove skin cancer growths. However, facial plastic surgeons, are highly trained in preserving the function of the surrounding structures, the appearance of skin and ensuring the most natural-looking results. For complex reconstructive surgery, it is best for patients to choose an experienced facial plastic surgeon to ensure their incisions are closed cleanly and evenly.
When should I have my skin cancer reconstruction surgery?
Dr. Rachel often receives referrals for reconstruction surgery from dermatologists performing Mohs treatments. Through this type of referral, or on your own, it is best if you make an appointment with Dr. Rachel before your skin cancer removal procedure so he can coordinate with your doctor. The timing of reconstruction surgery varies by patient. Some patients wait to see how their removals will heal naturally before deciding to have reconstructive surgery.