Aesthetic And Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
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Skin Cancer

Dr. Cabrera proudly follows the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines. Versions are updated every six months and our Practice follows the latest versions. For more information on the NCCN guidelines, click here.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Receiving a diagnosis of skin cancer can be a frightening experience. Fortunately, most skin cancers are treatable. Here at Plastic Surgery Specialists of Boca Raton, you will be in the hands of a highly trained and experienced plastic surgeon. We will be with you every step of the way. During your initial consultation, you will meet with Dr. Cabrera to discuss your options.

Skin Cancer and your Plastic Surgeon – A Step-by-Step Guide

1) The first step… Removing the cancer

After your dermatologist has determined that you have a skin cancer that needs to be removed, they will schedule you for an excision of the cancer, perhaps using a Mohs surgery technique (microscopically controlled surgery used to treat common types of skin cancer). The procedure is usually performed in your dermatologists office under local anesthetic. The location is marked on the map (drawing of the tissue) and the dermatologist removes the indicated cancerous tissue from the patient. This procedure is repeated until no further  cancer is found.

2) The second step… Repair the defect

Once your surgery is completed, you will come directly to our office for the plastic repair of the surgical defect in the most functional and aesthetically pleasing fashion. Your procedure will be performed in one of our four fully accredited operating rooms. The technique we use to repair the surgical defect depends on the size of the cancer removed. Techniques range from simple closures to a more complex procedure of grafting or transfer of skin and tissue. All procedures are performed under a local anesthetic, however, our surgeon’s will  recommend the best and safest anesthesia option for keeping you relaxed and comfortable. After your procedure is completed, a dressing or  bandages will be applied to your incisions and you will be given detailed written and verbal post-op instructions.

3) The third step… Taking care of you

After your sutures are removed, the incision may be temporarily red or pink in color. If you’ve had a more complex tissue-transfer procedure, your recovery time will be longer than if you had a simple excision. However, with any kind of surgery it’s important to follow our surgeon’s instructions to help the treated area heal properly.  How quickly the scar fades depends on the size of the wound, the nature and quality of your skin and how well you care for the wound after the procedure. You will return to our office for regular follow-up visits to monitor your healing. It’s important to keep these appointments so that we can assess your long-term results and address any questions or concerns you may have.  Our  goal is to give you a final result of an invisible incision.

“We promise to you give you the one-on-one
quality care that you deserve.”

Plastic Surgery Specialists of Boca Raton will make sure that your experience with us is as pleasant as possible. We work with each patient to develop a safe and effective treatment plan. Our philosophy centers on the principle that the relationship and communication between surgeon and patient are vital. Our patients are not just a “number” with us. We promise to give you the one-on-one quality care that you deserve.

Sentinel Node Biopsies

Dr. Cabrera performs sentinel node biopsies utilizing a local anesthetic and oral sedation. This procedure is an out-patient procedure and is performed in one of our four fully accredited operating rooms. Dr. Cabrera does not require his patients to have these biopsies performed in a hospital or under general anesthesia. This approach allows the patient to remain on his/her current medications and helps shorten the recovery time. Dr. Cabrera has performed hundreds of sentinel node biopsies over the years with great success. He is known as the “go to” surgeon for difficult cancer cases and sentinel node biopsies.

Words to know

Basal cell carcinoma
: This is the most common and least dangerous form of skin cancer. It tends to grow slowly and rarely spreads beyond its original site.

Squamous cell carcinoma: This is the second most-common type of skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma frequently appears on the lips, face or ears. It sometimes spreads to distant sites, including the lymph nodes and the internal organs.

Malignant melanoma: This is the least common, but the most dangerous form of skin cancer. If discovered early enough, it can be completely cured. If it’s not treated quickly, however, malignant melanoma may spread through the body and become life threatening.

Skin graft: A surgical procedure used for skin cancer. Healthy skin is removed from one area of the body and relocated to the wound site. A suture line is positioned to follow the natural creases and curves of the face if possible, to minimize the appearance of the resulting scar.

Epidermis: The uppermost portion of skin.

Excision: A simple surgical process to cut the lesion from the skin.

Mohs surgery: A surgical procedure that’s used when skin cancer is like an iceberg. Beneath the skin, the cancerous cells cover a much larger region and there are no defined borders.

Local flap: A surgical procedure used for skin cancer in which healthy, adjacent tissue is repositioned over the wound.

Lymph Node: A tiny bean-shaped gland, located in many different areas of the body. These glands filter fluids, catching viruses, bacteria, and other unknown materials.

Staying healthy

  • Limit your sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are generally strongest (even on cloudy, gray days!).
  • Cover up with hats that shade your face, neck and ears.
  • Use a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 everyday.
  • Stay in the shade when possible.

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