Reconstructive Surgery

Facial reconstruction following skin cancer surgery

The photos below illustrate several stages of facial reconstruction surgery performed by Salvatore Pacella, MD at Scripps Clinic in San Diego, Calif. The patient was diagnosed with spindle cell melanoma in December of 2008 and underwent five Mohs micrographic procedures to remove cancerous tissue from his face. A large portion of his nose had to be surgically excised and reconstructed.

Clinic Skin Cancer Reconstruction - 1
Clinic Skin Cancer Reconstruction-2

The shaded areas in the two photos above demonstrate the extent of the structures that needed to be removed to treat the melanoma of the patient (pictured below). Although the initial area may appear small, the aggressive nature of the cancer necessitated a wide margin be resected.

Clinic Skin Cancer Reconstruction 3
Clinic Skin Cancer Reconstruction

The photo above illustrates the first stage of the patient’s new nose. Cartilage from his ear was sculpted to replace the internal support structure. Skin and tissue flaps from the cheek, smile line and central forehead replaced the tissue he lost to cancer.

Clinic Skin Cancer Reconstruction - 4
Clinic - Skin Cancer Reconstruction 5

The final two photos above demonstrate the patient’s nasal reconstruction after the third stage of surgery. As the tissue softens and becomes more pliable, the appearance of the scars will continue to fade with time.

Read more about the patient’s struggle with skin cancer and the powerful message he’s sending about the importance of protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.