Skin Cancer Reconstruction /
Melanoma Surgery

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. The most frequent types of these tumors are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. The vast majority of these cancers are small and readily treatable, but larger and more aggressive tumors can be life threatening. Smaller and less aggressive lesions can be removed with a wide local excision, however lesions that are larger, more aggressive and those in areas allowing limited margins are often removed by a specialized dermatologist called a Mohs surgeon. Mohs surgeons reconstruct a large number of the defects created by the surgery themselves.

Dr. Wolpoe has extensive experience reconstructing larger defects especially in functionally and cosmetically sensitive areas or in situations where the patient does not tolerate or is not a candidate for an office procedure and would do better with general anesthesia.

Melanomas are a more aggressive subtype of skin cancer than most squamous and basal cell carcinomas. Although this is true, when caught early most melanomas are often highly curable. However larger, deeper melanomas are much more aggressive and have a much higher rate of spreading locally and to other areas of the body. When these types of tumors occur they require a wide local excision and usually sampling of the surrounding lymph tissue with what is called a sentinel node biopsy. This will allow the tumor to be better staged to see if additional medical or surgical treatment is necessary. Dr. Wolpoe has significant expertise in this area having worked with dermatologists over the years to give patients the best possible oncologic, functional and aesthetic outcomes.


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