Facial reconstructive procedures generally fall into one of three categories:

1. congenital
2. traumatic and
3. post surgical (such as removal of a skin cancer).

Regardless, the same basic principles apply. There is no way ever to make a scar completely disappear. The goal is to make the scar as least visible as possible and to achieve symmetry with the rest of the face. The face has such a rich blood supply and heals remarkably well.

Scar revision can involve simply excising the old scar and repairing it in a meticulous manner to complicated rearrangements of surrounding tissue or use of “flaps.” Other skin resurfacing procedures can be performed in addition to these. In any procedure, one should not expect the final result until 6-12 months after the surgery.

Skin cancer occurs secondary to excessive sun exposure. The lighter one’s skin, the more susceptible one is to developing skin cancer. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell cancer (can be locally aggressive), squamous cell cancer (can spread to other parts of the body), and melanoma (can also spread). Often a biopsy can make the initial diagnosis. Moh’s surgery (performed by a dermatologist who has special training) is one method to remove a skin lesion by removing the least amount of normal surrounding tissue which makes facial reconstruction easier.

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