Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If you are researching facial reconstructive surgery, Dr. Jess Prischmann, our experienced facial plastic surgeon, provides the following insight into some common questions. If you have additional questions, or if you would like to meet with Dr. Prischmann for a consultation, please contact us today.
Should I have Mohs surgery and plastic reconstructive surgery on the same day? Why?
You can have Mohs and reconstruction the same day. At our practice, we try to perform the reconstructive consultation the same day, with surgery the next day. This gives Dr. Prischmann time to really think and plan the best reconstruction.
What are the options for facial reconstruction? When do I need to see a facial plastic surgeon?
The type of reconstruction depends on many factors. The most important factors are typically the location and size of the damage. One of the fundamental principles in facial reconstruction is to reconstruct “like with like.” For example, if the damage involves your cheek, we first look for options to reconstruct this area with the adjacent cheek. If it involves multiple areas of the face, we look for ways to maintain the integrity of each independent region.
Often, your Mohs surgeon will schedule a consult with a facial plastic surgeon if the area to be reconstructed requires advanced techniques. You may also request a consult with a facial plastic surgeon.
Does reconstructive surgery differ for children and teenagers?
Yes, reconstructive techniques for young patients differ in several ways. Children and teenagers do not have facial lines and wrinkles, which makes hiding scar lines more challenging. Young patients also heal quickly, which impacts the selection of suture materials and techniques. Lastly, selecting the technique with the very best cosmetic outcome is paramount in young patients.
How important is aftercare following reconstructive surgery?
Dr. Prischmann believes aftercare is critically important following reconstructive surgery. We typically see patients on the following schedule: the day after surgery, the day of suture removal, and then weekly thereafter for up to six weeks or longer. During this time, we look for opportunities to impact the healing process in a positive manner. Often, patients heal beautifully on their own and intensive follow-up is not required. In other cases, we utilize lasers, light-based devices, and other supporting techniques to ensure the best possible result.
What types of skin grafts are there? In what circumstances is a partial thickness skin graft used? What about a full thickness skin graft?
For the face, we almost always use a full thickness skin graft, as this type of graft generally offers a better cosmetic outcome than a split thickness graft. Most commonly used for reconstructing the nose, full thickness grafts are harvested from areas where the skin is similar in color and texture (such as in front of the ear, behind the ear, from the eyelid, or from the nasolabial folds). After we harvest the skin graft, we suture it into the area to be reconstructed.
What types of combination treatments are used in scar revision?
Scar revision can be very challenging. The best treatment depends entirely on the nature of each individual scar. Sometimes, thick scars can be flattened by simple steroid injections or topical silicone sheeting. In other cases, we use dermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing, or fractionated laser resurfacing to flatten or blend scars. And lastly, surgical techniques (cutting out the scar) can also be helpful in camouflaging scars.
Can a mole be removed without leaving a scar?
If a mole is shaved, it is very important to note that it will most likely come back over time. Shaving does not always remove pigment, and in some cases, can make the pigment darker. Shaving is a great option for moles that are unattractive because they are raised. Flat moles should not be cosmetically treated with shaving. If you want to permanently remove a mole, the best option is to surgically excise it. This requires sutures and will leave a scar. A consultation will help you decide which option is best for you.
If you would like to learn more about facial reconstructive surgery, or if you are interested in meeting with Dr. Prischmann for a consultation, please contact us today.