Skin Cancer Surgery

In case of malignant skin cancer development in the face, early diagnosis and treatment will ensure the best possibilities for a complete and successful removal of tumours. A range of reconstructive techniques designed for sensitive regions of the face (such as nose, lips and eyelids) will ensure that procedures are performed with emphasis on preserving facial aesthetics.


Basal cell carcinoma is the most common malignant or neoplastic tumor affecting the skin of the face, nose, eyelids and surrounding areas. It is typically a result of sun exposure, particularly in fair-skinned individuals or people who spend extended periods outdoors. It is a form of cancer that has a low rate of metastasis, and although it can result in scars and disfigurement, it is not usually life threatening. Basal cell carcinomas are painless but may ulcerate and bleed as they get larger. Due to its slow rate of growth, the incidence of recurrence is low if surgically removed. Histological examination will ensure that the edges (margins) are free of tumour cells.

The three main types of skin cancer

Although most skin cancers can be removed surgically, treatment will depend on the type of cancer, its stage of growth and its location on the body.

•  Basal Cell Carcinoma is the least dangerous form of skin cancer. It tends to grow slowly and rarely spreads beyond its original site.

•  Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. It frequently appears on the lips, face or ears. It may sometimes spread to distant sites, including the lymph nodes and the internal organs.

•  Malignant Melanoma is the least common, and the most dangerous form of skin cancer. If discovered early enough, it can be completely cured. However, if not quickly treated, malignant melanoma may spread through the body and become life threatening.

Skin cancer removal

Advanced skin cancer treatments in sensitive regions of the face such as nose, lips, ears and the periorbital region (eyelids) are undertaken at the hospital. An on-site histopathology laboratory conducts immediate tissue analysis to help ensure complete and successful removal of tumours.


Small skin defects can be closed directly with sutures, resulting in fine scars that follow the natural lines of the face. Larger soft tissue defects may require reconstruction with a skin graft, a local flap, a larger pedicled flap or a microsurgical free tissue transfer (free flap).


The majority of skin cancers appear after the age of 40, but can also occur in children and young adults. Removal is recommended for anyone with a symptomatic or suspicious-looking skin lesion.

Skin cancer symptoms

Skin lesions that undergo changes, ulcerate or cause local symptoms such as itching or tenderness, should always be removed for histological evaluation.

 

Basal cell carcinoma: flat or nodular lesion, pearly translucency to fleshy color, fine blood vessels within the tumour. Crusting, bleeding and erosion in the centre, often mistaken for a sore that does not heal.

 

Squamous cell carcinoma: a moderately fast growing firm red plaque or a papule, often with an opalescent quality, with tiny blood vessels. Later the tumor presents as an ulcerated lesion with hard, raised edges.

 

Malignant melanoma: the majority of melanomas are brown or black pigmented lesions. Warning signs include changes in the size, shape, colour or elevation. The common appearance is an asymmetrical area, with an irregular border, color variation, often greater than 6 mm diameter.