Risks and Safety
When faced with skin cancer surgery you will have to decide if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure.
The risks include:
- Allergies to tape, suture materials and glues, blood products, topical preparations, or injected agents
- Anesthesia risks
- Change in skin sensation
- Damage to deeper structures—such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles - can occur and may be temporary or permanent
- Excessive bleeding
- Poor healing of incisions
- Possibility of revision surgery
- Recurrence of skin cancer
- Systemic spread of skin cancer
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It's important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
Other Important Considerations:
Skin grafts have an added risk that the graft not "take" and therefore additional surgery may be necessary to close the wound.
Preserve Your Health:
Once you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, you are at a higher risk to develop another skin cancer. Since skin cancer may reoccur, it's important to discuss the signs of skin cancer with your physician, regularly perform self-examinations for suspicious lesions, and schedule an annual skin cancer screening.