Plastic surgeons get a lot of media attention for the aesthetic plastic surgery procedures we perform but, like most things, plastic surgery has a much broader scope than what the gossip outlets consider newsworthy. Among those less frequently discussed topics: skin cancer reconstruction.
When the U.S. Centers for Disease Control last compiled skin cancer statistics in 2008, nearly 60,000 people per year were diagnosed with melanomas. For Hillary Fogelson, author of the new book, “Pale Girl Speaks: A Year Uncovered,” skin cancer diagnosis was an unexpected development, and one that inspired not only her novel, but a life of skin cancer awareness activism.
Variety magazine recently interviewed Fogelson about her book and the ten year journey of writing it. She has been diagnosed with malignant melanoma and survived three times. It’s no wonder, then, that the topic of prevention and sun protection is near and dear to her heart. The book is getting rave reviews, and it sounds like a fascinating, insightful look at skin cancer from the perspective of a survivor.
In the plastic surgery field, we see melanoma from a different perspective as well. Our focus is on the survivors of this deadly and all-too-common form of cancer, and how we can return what they’ve lost in terms of self-confidence and comfort with their appearance.
Melanomas require removal, and are most often far too large for a simple suture closure to provide a satisfactory appearance after healing. That fact is especially true when melanomas occur in highly visible locations such as the face. Unfortunately, those who don’t take the proper steps to protect their faces from the UV rays of the sun are highly susceptible to developing skin cancer in the most visible of locations.
This is where plastic surgery steps in, rebuilding removed tissue and reconstructing the affected area. We utilize the most current techniques and the patient’s own tissue whenever possible to create a natural-looking result.
Plastic Surgery for Skin Cancer Requires a Highly Skilled Surgeon
While you always want a skilled, experienced, board certified surgeon for any plastic surgery procedure, it’s even more important for skin cancer reconstruction, especially with melanomas of the face. The surgeon must be intimately familiar with the nuances of facial structure to correctly rebuild the face to its previous appearance.
Fogelson’s skin cancer may not have affected her face, but it certainly affected her life, and her memoir of the experience looks to be quite an interesting and worthwhile read.
If you, too, have been affected by melanoma and are looking for a surgeon with experience in skin cancer reconstruction, contact Gainesville’s Accent Plastics.