If you have recently been diagnosed with a basal or squamous cell carcinoma on your nose, you may be wondering how your treatment plan will affect your appearance. The most common surgery used to treat skin cancer, Mohs surgery, is specifically designed to remove as little skin as possible while eliminating cancerous cells, but even the most precise surgeon cannot guarantee perfect results. These are four strategies your doctors and surgeons will employ to ensure that your nasal skin cancer surgery will not significantly alter your appearance after you have healed.
Covering Excised Skin
Mohs surgery is conducted in stages. During each stage, a portion of the cancerous area is removed and the site is examined. If there are still cancerous cells remaining, the process repeats until your skin is cancer-free. By following this methodology, your surgeon can excise only as much as is needed, preserving as much of your healthy skin and tissue as possible. The surgical site is then covered by pulling the skin on either side together to be stitched shut, closing the wound and hiding the incision. Nasal surgery usually creates a relatively small wound, meaning a skin graft will likely not be necessary to cover the surgical site.
Reconstructing Affected Nostrils
In cases where the cancerous growth has developed on one of your nostrils, more extensive reconstruction may be necessary to restore lost tissues. This is not only important to maintain your appearance, but also to ensure that your breathing is not impeded by a collapsed nostril later on. Typically, the cartilage of your nose is replaced by excess cartilage from your ear, though your surgeon may prefer a different source, such as cartilage from your ribs.
Preventing the Development of Scar Tissues
When most patients learn that they will be having facial surgery, their first concern is whether or not it will lead to permanent scarring. Although some scarring is inevitable with any surgery, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage. Speak with your surgeon to get a better understanding of how your wound will be closed; if you are very concerned about scarring, you may try to have a plastic surgeon on hand for the actual wound closure process. In most cases, however, nasal skin cancer surgery does not lead to significant scars, and they can often be hidden in creases or inside your nostrils.
Undergoing Cosmetic Procedures After the Surgery
If your skin cancer surgery leaves more of a mark than you are comfortable with, you still have options once the site has fully healed. Dermabrasion or laser resurfacing procedures smooth down your skin to make scars less noticeable, improving their texture and appearance over several sessions. Speak to your doctor or surgeon about the right course of action to conceal your scars as best as possible. With modern surgical techniques and post-operative care to match, you will hopefully emerge from your surgery with no major reminders of your brush with skin cancer.
As an adult in my 50s, I find that my body isn't as strong as it used to be. But I don't let that stop me from enjoying life! In fact, I make every effort to get the treatments I need from my doctor to improve my health. I know that I'm not a senior yet, but I do all I can to prevent the health problems that affect that age group. Because of this, I put together a health blog for people over age 50. My blog isn't a review of what you can easily find on the Internet. It's a plethora of unique information designed to help you find the services you need fast. What my blog doesn't do is tell you what to do for your health. Instead, it offers guidance and options. Please, enjoy the blog and happy reading.