About 15 years ago, I had a basal cell on my left cheek cut out by a dermatologist. Now the skin in the same area is a little swelled. I have had it checked by a dermatologist and two different plastic surgeons, all suggested a biopsy to find out if it is only scar tissue or basal cell recurrence... If it turns out I need MOHS surgery, how do I choose the right surgeon to close? Both plastic surgeons were rated "superior" by my dermatologist.
Recurrent Basal Cell on Cheek. If I Need Mohs, How To I Find a Good Surgeon?
Doctor Answers 4
Recurrent skin cancers
The ideal treatment for a recurrent skin cancer is Mohs surgery. The reconstruction of the defect may be at the discretion of the Mohs surgeon-performed either by Mohs surgeon or by a plastic surgeon.
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Finding a Qualified MOHS Surgeon
When choosing a surgeon to perform your Mohs surgery, trust your face to a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon specialist who is uniquely trained and expertly qualified to perform the Mohs Surgery. It is important that the Surgeon you choose understands the importance of removing a cancerous tumor while maintaining both the integrity and cosmetic appearance of the healthy tissue and skin. The most precise method for removal of the cancerous tissue spares the greatest amount of healthy tissue. For this reason, the Mohs surgery may result in a significantly smaller surgical defect and less noticeable scarring, as compared to other methods of skin cancer treatment. Talk to your Facial Plastic Surgeon to assess whether Mohs Surgery is the most appropriate treatment option for your particular diagnosis.
Well, first, I would definitely recommend a biopsy to even see what you're dealing with here. I'm kind of surprised that hasn't been done yet, but we are talking already about the possible need for Mohs. First, get the biopsy done, by your dermatologist is fine, and then have that sent to a lab for confirmation that it even is a cancer. After that, you can talk about the need for Mohs. Most dermatologists, if they don't do Mohs themselves, have a Mohs dermatologist or plastic surgeon that they refer to. You can ask for references if you'd like. Most doctors who are experienced in Mohs are a part of the American Society for Mohs Surgery which offers a physician locator on their website. These physicians have passed the boards for Mohs, so any of these on here would be a good place for referrals as well.
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Recurrent basal cell : Mohs Surgery
If indeed this area proves to be a basal cell carcinoma, it could be a recurrence, but at 15 years more likely a second primary. I would definitely recommend Mohs surgery for the removal because it offers the lowest rate of recurrence. The reconstruction can be performed by your Mohs surgeon ( American College of Mohs Surgery) or by a Facial Plastic Surgeon (American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery). Discuss your concerns with your Mohs Surgeon, who should be able to help you with a game plan.