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Types Of Reconstructive Surgery That Reshape The Nose After Cancer Removal

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When you have skin cancer on your nose, the doctor may use a technique called Mohs surgery to remove it. This procedure removes one small layer of tissue at a time until all the cancer is removed. The goal is to leave as much healthy tissue as possible so the wound won't be disfiguring. However, if the cancer growth is deep enough, you could be left with a hole that needs surgery to repair. There are three types of facial reconstructive surgery for your nose to reshape it after cancer removal. Here's a look at the options.

Stretch The Nearby Skin

If the wound after cancer surgery is small enough, it might be possible to stretch the skin on your nose to cover the hole. However, the surgery is more complicated than that. The shape of your nose is important for your appearance and identity so the reconstructive surgeon takes great care to sculpt your nose as it is being covered with the stretched skin.

Use A Skin Graft

If the wound is so large that there isn't enough skin nearby to cover it, then the surgeon may need to use donor skin and do a skin graft. In this case, the skin is removed from elsewhere on your body and used to create a new tip for your nose or to cover a hole. This type of surgery can often be done as an outpatient after you've had some recovery time from the cancer surgery.

Do A Forehead Flap

A forehead flap surgery is the most complex way to reconstruct your nose but this surgery could achieve the best results. Your doctor can help you choose the right type of reconstructive surgery for your individual case. If flap surgery is chosen, the doctor removes a flap of skin from your forehead and grafts it onto your nose. The skin on your forehead is a good choice because it tends to match the skin on your nose closely. After the skin is removed from your forehead, the wound is stitched closed so the donor site can heal. The flap is then aligned to fit your nose and grafted on so the wound can heal and your nose is restored to a more natural state.

Since your nose is a prominent feature on your face, reconstructive surgery is important for restoring your appearance, but it also preserves the normal function of your nose by sealing the hole from the wound. It may take multiple procedures and some time from when you have the cancer surgery until your nose is reconstructed, but the end result leaves you with a nose that's free of cancer and that has a normal appearance.