You may think of rhinoplasty as a luxury reserved for celebrities, but over 350,000 everyday folks get nose jobs each year, making it the second-most frequently performed cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States.
While rhinoplasty can fix bumps, humps, hooks, and droops, it’s also the go-to procedure when trauma ravages your nose. Skin cancer surgery — a life-saving treatment that rids your tissue of insidious cells — also leaves you with craters and scars where cancer once lived. Whether you undergo traditional excision surgery or layer-by-layer Mohs surgery, the treatment damages your nose.
But you don’t have to live with the constant reminder of your past skin cancer. Robert A. Guida, MD, our double-board-certified plastic surgeon and rhinoplasty expert, offers a special type of rhinoplasty called nasal reconstruction that specifically addresses the damage caused by skin cancer surgery. Here’s how it works.
Understanding nasal reconstruction surgery
Your skin may have healed since your cancer surgery, but healing isn’t complete until your nose is back to normal. That’s where nasal reconstruction surgery comes in.
Nose and face skin cancer removal can have some unsightly side effects, including disfiguring scars and a skewed look. But don't fret — Dr. Guida can handle even the most intricate of nasal malformations, restoring a natural appearance to your nose and mid-face through nasal reconstruction surgery.
Dr. Guida customizes your nasal reconstruction surgery based on your unique symptoms and needs, and he may use any of several approaches, including the following.
Secondary intention healing
One possible technique is secondary intention healing, which allows small, flat surface wounds to self-heal naturally. However, this method may not be suitable for wounds located on the nasal tip or nostrils due to the possibility of nose shape alteration.
Primary wound healing
Alternatively, Dr. Guida may use a simple suture closure for upper nose injuries and wounds, but again, we don’t recommend this for lower nostrils or tip areas.
Skin grafting takes tissue or skin from other areas of your body and attaches them to the affected area on your nose. Dr. Guida uses several types of skin grafts, including local flaps, which involve lifting, stretching, and repositioning skin from the nose; or regional flaps, which stretch the skin from other facial areas. Once he removes the excess skin, Dr. Guida places the grafted skin perfectly over the wound.
He may opt for forehead flaps or cartilage and bone grafts for larger repairs.
Why consider nasal reconstruction after skin cancer surgery?
Nasal reconstruction comes with multiple benefits. Here are a few plusses that may improve your life after skin cancer surgery:
- Reshapes deformed noses
- Repairs damage
- Restores nasal function (breathing and smelling)
- Diminishes scars
Nasal reconstruction addresses medical and cosmetic issues and requires extensive knowledge of nasal and facial anatomy. That’s where Dr. Guida’s education and experience make a difference. New Yorkers can choose from a vast pool of plastic surgeons, but not all can match Dr. Guida’s qualifications.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Guida and find out why so many trust him with their nasal reconstruction and other facial surgeries. Book online or call us at either our Staten Island or New York, New York, offices.