Newport Beach

Vincent C. Hung, MD, MOHS Surgery, Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery

Category: Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

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What Should You Know About Nose Reconstruction After Mohs Surgery?

, | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

5 Minute Read:

Mohs surgery is one of the most effective and least invasive methods for treating many forms of skin cancer. Yet, Mohs surgery is still surgery, and it will leave scarring. For some, this will be small; for others, it can be significant. It all comes down to the size of the skin cancer, the type of cancer, and how much tissue needs to be taken.

Beautiful, young woman smiling as she touches her nose with her finger

And while skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body, it often develops on the face and neck. This is because these areas are the most exposed to the sun.

One of the most common areas to develop skin cancer is the nose. And since the nose is central to your face, reconstruction following Mohs surgery must be handled delicately to ensure the best cosmetic result possible.

Below, we’ll explore Mohs surgery, especially on the nose, and how nose reconstruction can help you achieve a cancer-free, beautiful nose.

What Is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery is a revolutionary approach to removing skin cancer. With Mohs surgery, the goal is to remove all cancer from the skin while preserving as much healthy skin tissue as possible.

For Mohs surgery, Dr. Hung will remove the cancerous tissue and a very thin rim of skin surrounding the tumor (the margin). This thin rim will be analyzed. If cancer is present, then another thin rim will be surgically removed and analyzed. This process will continue until all cancer cells are removed from the area, meaning the skin is cancer free.

In addition to being extremely successful with permanently removing cancerous tissue, Mohs surgery allows patients to keep the most healthy skin possible, limiting the size of resulting scars.

How Is Nose Reconstruction Performed?

While a scar is preferable to cancer on the skin, which can become aggressive and cause serious health concerns, many people still worry about what their scars will look like.

The good news is that nose reconstruction can be performed on women and men after Mohs surgery. Ultimately, nose reconstruction surgery aims to limit visible scarring and create a natural aesthetic.

To achieve optimal results, Dr. Hung has four different techniques to choose from, including:

  • Direct linear closure, which takes two edges of the wound and creates a single closure to limit the extent of visible scarring
  • Local flaps, which use surrounding skin to stretch and cover the open wound that was created during Mohs surgery
  • Full-thickness skin graft, which uses a large skin graft taken from another part of the body to cover the wound on the nose
  • Distant flaps, which use harvested skin from another part of the body (including the center of the forehead) to cover the wound; this graft is smaller in size than a full-thickness skin graft

The specific nose surgery technique depends on the extent of correction needed and the particular patient. During your consultation, Dr. Hung will evaluate your condition to create a surgical plan specific to you and your needs.

Why Choose Dr. Hung for Your Nose Reconstruction After Mohs Surgery?

Dr. Hung is one of only a few surgeons in the world who is triple-board certified in internal medicine, dermatology, and plastic surgery.

Because of his extensive education, knowledge, and experience, you can feel confident that Dr. Hung will dedicate himself and his talents to helping you achieve the appearance you desire. Additionally, because he performs Mohs surgery and nose reconstruction himself, Dr. Hung can approach both aspects of this procedure with a singular vision for your results.

Do You Have Questions?

If you want to learn more about skin cancer removal, Mohs surgery, and/or nose reconstruction, please contact Dr. Hung at his Pasadena office at 626-432-5032 or his Newport Beach office at 949-574-8292.

Who to Go to for Reconstructive Surgery After Invasive Skin Cancer Treatment

| The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

3 Minute Read: 

Congratulations — you’ve beaten skin cancer! That’s a feat all by itself and one to be celebrated by you and your loved ones. 

While your health is always the foremost priority, you may be left wondering about your reconstruction options following your skin cancer removal, whether it was performed using Mohs surgery or another removal option.

Woman with a sun drawn on her back with sunscreen.

Even if your skin cancer is small (for instance, the size of a small mole), it can still leave a significant scar or open space (to account for cancer and a margin of healthy tissue). Because of this, reconstruction after skin cancer is available to address areas across your face and body.

The Damage Invasive Skin Cancer Can Do

Never put off seeing your doctor if you find a suspicious mole, mark, or discoloration. The sooner you receive treatment, the better.

Invasive skin cancer has penetrated deeper than the epidermis (top layer of skin), into surrounding healthy tissue.

Skin cancer lesions must be thoroughly excised (removed) along with a healthy margin of tissue to ensure no cancer traces remain in the area. Usually, no other treatment protocols are necessary.

Even though skin cancer can be easily treated if found early, it can spread, which may result in the need for more extensive cancer-related treatments.

Aftereffects of Skin Cancer Treatment 

Skin cancer treatment is life-saving. Always follow your doctor’s advice and actively participate in your treatment team. After all, removing the cancer and returning to good health is your priority.

When possible, an advanced technique called Mohs surgery is used to remove skin cancers. This minimally invasive procedure removes tissue layer by layer, pausing to examine the removed tissue for cancerous cells between each pass.

By removing the cancer this way, your surgeon can minimize the amount of healthy tissue removed. 

Occasionally, your surgeon may need a more aggressive removal method, resulting in a larger treatment area. This may require a more extensive form of reconstruction.

Regardless of the method used to remove your skin cancer, you must consider a reconstructive option. When the area is small, the skin can often simply be pulled together in a linear closure.

When the area is larger, you may need to consider more invasive reconstructive options like skin grafts.

What Areas of the Body Can Need Reconstruction After Invasive Skin Cancer?

Any area of the body can fall victim to skin cancer. Common areas that require reconstructive measures after cancer treatment include:

Any place you have skin can develop skin cancer; however, areas exposed to the sun are more prone to cancer than areas usually hidden under clothing or hair.

How to Find a GREAT Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon

Finding the ideal reconstructive plastic surgeon takes just a few simple but important steps.

Look for a reconstructive surgeon who:

  • Specializes in post-cancer plastic surgery
  • Is board-certified in Mohs skin cancer surgery
  • Can offer testimonials from previous patients who have had surgery at their center
  • Is ready to answer all your questions and sit down with you for a consultation

Dr. Vincent Hung is highly experienced in Mohs surgery, skin reconstruction, and cosmetic surgery. With him, you can feel assured that your cancer will not only be removed but also achieve cosmetically appealing results.

Your Health and Happiness Depend on the Right Plastic Surgeon

Don’t skimp on the above requirements. You will want to be as comfortable as possible with the reconstructive surgeon you choose.

Your happiness and health are closely linked. You’ve beaten skin cancer, and now it’s time to celebrate that success with a look you can be happy with. The right plastic surgeon can get you there!

To learn more about the treatments offered by Dr. Hung, call our Pasadena office at (626) 432-5032, our Newport Beach office at (949) 574-8292, or fill out our online contact form.

Will I Have Hair After Skin Cancer Removal on My Head?

, | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

Whenever a patient undergoes skin cancer removal surgery, many worries can go through their minds. One of the first is about the success of the operation and whether all of the cancer will be removed.

But after the cancer is taken care of, patients’ worries usually move onto the lasting results and impacts on the body, including future hair growth if the skin cancer was removed on the head.

 Close-up shot of a bald man with his hand on his head

Many worry that they will be forever bald after Mohs surgery, unable to grow hair. Unfortunately, whether you will have permanent hair loss issues after skin cancer removal on your head is not an easy Yes or No answer.

The extent of hair loss depends on the size of the surgery, its location, and the method used for closure. Removing skin affected by cancer, especially when larger areas are excised, may lead to permanent hair loss. However, in many cases, hair loss is only temporary.

The specific degree of hair loss and whether it is temporary or permanent would best be addressed by your surgeon. They can provide the best insight into what you can expect regarding hair regrowth and what techniques and aftercare measures you can take to minimize hair loss related to Mohs surgery.

What Is the Most Common Skin Cancer Removal Method?

Medical science has come a long way in successfully treating skin cancer. Mohs surgery is now the most common procedure for removing skin cancer while causing as little aesthetic harm as possible.

What Is Mohs Surgery on the Scalp?

Mohs surgery is designed to preserve tissue and minimize scarring by removing the cancerous area one layer at a time. Each tissue layer is examined to check for any remaining cancer cells, and the process is repeated until none remain.

When performed on the scalp, tissue preservation is critical. This procedure follows the standard Mohs surgery technique but focuses on scalp lesions and preventing excessive scars from developing.

What Are the Methods for Repairing the Scalp After Skin Cancer Removal?

During Mohs surgery, your surgeon will remove as much of the cancerous tissue and skin as needed to make sure that you are cancer-free. While it is best to let the skin of the scalp heal itself naturally, this is not always possible.

Sometimes, skin reconstruction is necessary, especially if the surgical site is large or deep. In this case, there are two methods for repairing the scalp. The extent of the cancerous area (size of the cancer) plays a part in which repair method is best for you.

Skin Flap

A skin flap is used if the follicles are removed, but the skin cancer is contained to a smaller area on the head. A skin flap uses the tissue surrounding the Mohs surgery site to cover the surgical area and heal.

This technique often allows for a smoother healing surface with similar coloration and texture and less chance of scar contracture (shrinking). This method preserves as many hair follicles as possible, though the pattern of the hair will change.

Skin Graft

While a skin flap offers many positives, especially in allowing hair to regrow, if the cancer excision site is large, a skin graft may be required.

While a skin flap maintains blood flow (since the skin is not removed from the body and reattached), a skin graft does not have continuous blood supply because it is skin that has been taken from another part of your body, moved, and attached to the Mohs surgery site.

A skin graft allows for more significant coverage and helps protect the surgical area; however, due to the nature of skin grafts, they usually do not allow hair to regrow in the reconstructed area without further treatment.

What Causes Hair Loss After Skin Cancer Removal?

Whether or not you will lose the ability to regrow hair after Mohs surgery depends on its effect on the hair follicles.

If only a few layers of cancerous tissue and skin were removed during surgery, the hair follicles can survive, and your hair should regrow without surgical intervention.

However, if the follicles were removed or directly affected during Mohs surgery (because the cancer was deeper and more layers of tissue and skin were removed), then the hair would not be able to grow back naturally, leading to baldness in that area.

It’s important to note that the nature of Mohs surgery is to preserve as much of the skin (including the hair follicles) as possible, but some cancers grow more deeply than others.

Is Losing My Hair After Mohs Surgery Like Alopecia?

Hair loss after Mohs surgery typically occurs due to the surgical removal of skin cancer and the subsequent closure of the wound. Alopecia, on the other hand, refers to various factors that cause hair loss, such as genetics, autoimmune issues, hormonal changes, or other health conditions.

Mohs surgery-related hair loss, in most cases, is localized to the area where the surgery was performed and is not related to the conditions associated with alopecia.

How Long Is Recovery After Mohs Surgery on the Scalp?

After Mohs surgery on the scalp, recovery timelines vary widely depending on the extent of the procedure and individual healing abilities. However, you can expect the following sequence of events:

1. Immediately Following Surgery

Right after Mohs surgery on the scalp, the wound might be covered with a bandage or dressing. Mild pain, tenderness, and swelling around the surgical area are expected during the initial days.

2. During the First Week

It’s normal to experience some discomfort, swelling, and possibly bruising for the first week after surgery. Stitches and other wound closure methods will dictate the care required. Patients are typically advised to keep the area clean, dry, and protected per the doctor’s instructions.

3. The Next Few Weeks

The scalp wound will gradually heal, and if non-dissolvable stitches or sutures were used, they will need to be removed.

4. Longer-Term Healing

Complete healing after Mohs surgery on the scalp can take several weeks to a few months, with the wound improving and scars fading over time.

5. Follow-Up Visits

You will be scheduled for follow-up appointments with your surgeon so they can monitor the healing progress and address any concerns about the surgical site.

Throughout the recovery period, following your doctor’s post-surgical instructions is crucial. This includes proper wound care, avoiding strenuous activities, protecting the area from direct sunlight, and directions to ensure optimal healing.

Want to Learn More?

Feel free to call 626-432-5032 to Dr. Hung in Pasadena, CA, if you have questions about skin cancer removal or how Mohs surgery will affect your hair growth. If his Newport Beach, California office is more convenient for you, he can be reached at 949-574-8292.

Why Do I Need Lip Reconstruction?

| The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

3 Minute Read: 

The lips are one of our most important features. They are the central and focal point of our lower face, and we are naturally drawn to the lips and mouth when we talk with others. On top of that, your lips are really important — they’re responsible for nearly all actions on your face. 

But many people have damaged lips, resulting from an illness, such as skin cancer, or a previous injury. This leaves them with lips that make their face look distorted or even unnatural (a condition called the “uncanny valley effect”). 

Beautiful woman's lower face, with a focus on the lips/mouth

But lip reconstruction surgery can help bring your lips back to a natural and beautiful look, allowing you to restore a more balanced facial appearance. 

Why Should You Think About Getting Reconstruction Surgery?

The driving purpose for any patient having plastic surgery is simply feeling better about the way they look. This is especially true if a life event — like skin cancer — changed any part of your appearance. 

For people struggling with this problem, reconstruction surgery is the way that they can return themselves to how they looked before that life event. And many people choose to take action and surgically correct these issues; in fact, in 2020, nearly 7,000,000 people underwent some form of reconstruction surgery

For the lips, many people have lasting side effects from such issues as lesions, defects left from Mohs surgery for cancer removal, or lacerations and scars from facial injury or previous lip surgery. 

All of these issues can be addressed with cosmetic surgery, allowing you to feel confident in who you are and the way you look.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Surgeon

Deciding to undergo any form of plastic surgery is the first step in attaining the look and feel you’ve always wanted. 

But the second step is just as important, and that is choosing the right plastic surgeon for your procedure(s). You want to make sure that the doctor is trustworthy and will put your safety and best interests first. Dr. Vincent C. Hung is that doctor. 

Lip reconstruction surgery is a very tricky procedure. Since the lips lack any clear fibrous framework, it can be challenging for many plastic surgeons to keep the lips symmetrical and natural looking. Additionally, the color, texture, and elasticity of the lips need to be maintained. Luckily, Dr. Hung is board-certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery, and he has years of experience with reconstruction procedures. 

With Dr. Hung, you will be in great hands and know that you will receive the results you’re looking for. 

Other Reconstruction Surgeries Offered

In addition to the lips, other parts of the face affected by previous injuries or other life events can look fresh and revitalized with reconstruction surgery. Dr. Hung is proud to offer reconstruction surgery options for ear correction and scalp reconstruction

Whatever your concerns with your facial appearance, there’s a corrective surgery that can help you feel comfortable with your reflection in the mirror.

Find Out More

For more information about lip reconstruction surgery, contact Dr. Hung by calling (626) 432-5032 or filling out our online contact form

Dr. Hung performs reconstruction surgery for patients in Pasadena and Newport Beach, California.

What Should I Know About Skin Reconstruction on My Arms and Legs?

, | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

4 Minute Read: 

Skin cancer treatment on your extremities can leave your legs and arms with cosmetically unappealing marks. Scars from previous surgical procedures or injuries on your extremities can also make your skin less attractive. 

Unfortunately, these issues can hurt your self-image and self-confidence. The good news is that you can improve the appearance of your legs and arms by going for skin reconstruction surgery. 

Woman exposing a scar on her bare shoulder

But what does skin reconstruction surgery on legs and arms entail, and what can you expect from it?

When Is Skin Reconstruction on Arms and Legs Needed?

Treating skin cancer involves removing the affected tissue and cells through Mohs surgery

The primary goal of this procedure is to ensure that all affected cells (including clean margins) are removed. Unfortunately, this can leave you with large wounds that could affect your appearance.

Since going through skin cancer treatment is tough enough, you do not want these scars to constantly remind you of the ordeal. To improve the appearance of these scars, you will need skin reconstruction surgery.

Options for Skin Reconstruction on Arms and Legs

Skin reconstruction on legs and arms after removing cancer can be quite difficult because the skin in these areas is taut. 

Besides, the skin of your lower legs is under immense stress due to the weight that your legs have to carry. This means that it is not always possible to close the wound on these areas in a straight-line fashion. 

As such, your surgeon will need to get skin grafts from your thighs or other parts of the body to cover the area with lost or damaged skin. Other options include flap surgery and tissue expansion. 

The goal of all these options is to improve the appearance of the scars left after removing skin cancer surgically.

What Should I Expect From Recovery After Skin Reconstruction on Arms and Legs?

After skin reconstruction surgery, you will be left with two surgical sites to take care of: the graft site and the donor site. The wounds will remain dressed for as long as your surgeon recommends. 

You will be required to avoid strenuous physical activities for up to four weeks. 

Of course, you will experience pain for a few days after the surgery, but you will be given medication to manage it. You will also be required to avoid smoking and ensure that you visit your surgeon for follow-up visits. The donor site should heal faster than the graft site, but you should be okay to go back to your daily routine after about six weeks.

Interested in Learning More About Mohs Surgery or Reconstruction Afterward?

If skin cancer removal left your legs with unsightly scars, you can improve the appearance of the scars through skin reconstruction surgery. 

If you are looking for a Mohs surgery plastic surgeon who also performs skin reconstruction on arms and legs, Dr. Vincent C. Hung’s plastic surgery facility may be ideal for you. Contact us via 626-432-5032 for more information about skin reconstruction surgery.


Why Should I Choose Dr. Hung?

, | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

2 Minute Read: 

Are you considering plastic surgery, skin cancer treatment, or reconstructive surgery after skin cancer? You probably have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to find a good plastic surgeon. Picking a surgeon is one of the most critical aspects of the surgical process. 

When you envision face or body enhancement or reconstruction, you want to be sure you choose a top-level plastic surgeon who is experienced and qualified to perform your procedure.

Surgical team performing surgery in operating room.

Why Should I See Dr. Hung?

Dr. Vincent C. Hung is a world-renowned triple board-certified plastic surgeon in California with years of experience specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery. He has a highly respected reputation within the aesthetic surgery industry, being one of the few plastic surgeons in the U.S with training and board certification in dermatology and Mohs skin cancer surgery.

With the highest form of training in reconstructive surgery, he uses reliable, time-tested techniques to deliver exceptional aesthetic and naturally balanced results. His attention to detail, knowledge, and meticulous approach to every procedure he performs has earned him an impeccable reputation not only among his patients but peers as well.

Dr. Hung runs a full-time private practice in Pasadena, California (Pasadena Plastic Surgery Center) that offers cosmetic and reconstructive procedures to help patients restore their ideal body image and rejuvenate their appearance. He has been in practice for more than 20 years and demonstrates exceptional skill, personal warmth, compassion, honesty, and care for every person he treats.

As a uniquely trained, board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in skin cancer removal and reconstructive surgery, Dr. Hung has worked with many patients to provide the best possible outcome. 

He is affiliated with multiple hospitals around the area, including Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian and Huntington Hospital.

An Experience Like No Other

In addition to having years of experience and having performed numerous surgeries, we pride ourselves on high-quality surgical work and consistent results in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.

Our practice is committed to patient comfort, satisfaction, and outstanding surgical outcomes. Dr. Hung and his entire medical team focus on your health and well-being and will support your experience with clear communication, compassion, and knowledgeable care.

From the consultation stage to follow-up care, your journey is guided by our highly trained staff for a positive experience from the moment you walk in the doors of our practice. We continue to strive for the highest standards of excellence in patient care and consistently positive outcomes.

Interested in Learning More?

If you are interested in a facelift, cosmetic breast surgery, skin cancer treatment with Mohs surgery, reconstructive surgery following skin cancer removal, or another procedure, Dr. Hung can help. Contact us at 626-623-7135 or fill out our online form to schedule your consultation and learn more.

Your Guide to Skin Grafting in Pasadena

, | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

3 Minute Read: 

Most skin cancer patients find Mohs surgery to be the optimal way to remove cancerous growths. While Mohs surgery is known for sparing as much non-cancerous tissue as possible, it can still result in significant surface injury that requires a skin graft. 

Example of a basal cell carcinoma on the face of a women near her eyebrow.

This graft is vital to the healing process and provides aesthetic benefits by covering the damaged area. 

Skin graft surgery is a reconstructive procedure that replaces the removed skin with donor tissue (harvested from your body). This skin graft guide will cover some of the things patients should know about skin grafting before undergoing Mohs surgery.

Table of Contents

What Are the Different Types of Skin Graft?

How Is Skin Grafting Performed?

What Are the Skin Graft Healing Stages?

Want to Learn More About Skin Grafts?

What Are the Different Types of Skin Graft?

There are two general types of skin grafts: split-thickness and full-thickness. Each type provides different results and benefits.

Split-Thickness Grafts 

Split-thickness grafts involve taking large swaths of the upper layer of skin from a donor site. Because these grafts only comprise the upper layers of skin, they may not look as natural as full-thickness grafts

These wider grafts are ideal for treating broader and more shallow injuries like burns or surface damage. However, these types of grafts are not as commonly used after Mohs surgery. Mohs surgery usually results in smaller but deeper incisions. 

You can learn more about the types of Mohs surgery incisions here

Full-Thickness Grafts

Full-thickness grafts use smaller pieces of skin to treat deeper wounds and surgical incisions. 

These grafts work because full-thickness grafts comprise both the upper and lower layers of the skin. This makes them far more effective at grafting into a wound and providing natural-looking results. 

This type of graft is ideal for smaller and deeper incisions or wounds. Full-thickness grafts are less effective the larger the target area is. 

Full-thickness grafts are commonly used after Mohs surgery to cover the incisions. Donor tissue can be taken from the abdomen, groin area, or arm. The smaller grafts, coupled with the thicker skin, make it more likely for the grafts to appear natural. This is important for patients whose incisions are in prominent locations, like the face.

How Is Skin Grafting Performed?

Skin grafting is usually performed using local anesthesia. The donor site and receiving site are identified, and each area is numbed.

Once the area is prepped, the desired amount of skin is excised from the donor area. The graft is then placed over the receiving site and sutured or stapled in place. Dr. Hung does his best to line up blood vessels between the graft and existing skin. This ensures the graft receives enough oxygen and nutrients during the recovery process. 

What Are the Skin Graft Healing Stages?

It can take up to 36 hours to know if a skin graft has taken or not. During the initial skin graft recovery period, Dr. Hung may place you under observation or ask you to come back for periodic checkups.

After 36 hours, if the graft has taken, you can return home. Dr. Hung usually prescribes medications to help manage the pain. The donor site should heal within a couple of weeks, leaving a small skin graft scar. The graft site may take up to four weeks to fully heal. 

You should avoid any activities that could stretch or strain the graft site for four to six weeks following the operation. 

Want to Learn More About Skin Grafts? 

If you want to learn more about skin grafting, how to treat skin grafts after surgery, or other related concerns, please contact our Pasadena office at 626-432-5032. You can also reach us at our Newport Beach office at 949-574-8292 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hung.

Your Guide to Nose Reconstruction After Skin Cancer

, | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

3 Minute Read:

Skin cancer on the nose is an unpleasant experience at best and potentially deforming at worse.

Mohs surgery allows for cancerous growths to be removed with a minimal amount of tissue lost. Unfortunately, that still means that many people with skin cancer on their nose will end up with open wounds on its surface.

woman at the conclusion of a nasal reconstruction procedure.

To correct this, Dr. Hung offers a series of nasal reconstruction options that can reduce the risk of complications and create a new and improved nasal appearance.

What Are Common Nose Reconstruction Techniques?

Nasal reconstruction is based on the specific needs of the patient. No two reconstruction operations are ever the same because no two cancer removal procedures are ever the same.

This means the techniques described below are general techniques applied to most nasal reconstruction operations; however, they may or may not line up with your own.

1. Direct Linear Closure

Direct linear closure is a surgical technique that uses the lax skin above and below the wound to seal the injury. This technique is one of the simplest when it comes to repairing large wounds.

The main issue with it is that it requires a certain amount of skin laxity and can result in a scar larger than the original wound if the skin is not quite right.

2. Local Flaps

Local flap reconstruction stretches nearby skin to cover the open wound. This technique is ideal for patients with smaller open wounds on the nose. This technique’s main advantage is that it begins the healing process faster than most other reconstruction options on this list.

The main disadvantage of this reconstruction option is that it requires the wound to be small. It also requires the skin near the wound to have enough elasticity to cover the wound without damaging the skin itself.

This means that local flaps are not always a viable option. However, when available, this technique is usually a good go-to option.

3. Full-thickness Skin Graft

A full-thickness skin graft is one of the most challenging and complex forms of nasal reconstruction. It takes a segment of skin from another area of the body and grafts it over the open nasal wound. When performed well, this technique can treat the largest post-cancer wounds and help a nose look natural, even after losing significant amounts of tissue. This option is rarely a go-to, but it offers a viable reconstructive solution for patients with larger wounds.

The main downsides to a full-thickness skin graft are its complexity and need for a donor area. Most patients prefer their nasal reconstruction not to require a new wound to be opened elsewhere.

The extra complexity of this procedure can also cause the operation to take longer. This technique is still far better than not getting a nasal reconstruction, but other options are usually recommended first if viable.

4. Distant Flaps

This technique partially removes tissue from the forehead to cover the open wound on the nose and restore lost tissue. This technique is often seen as the go-to option for people with wounds too large for direct linear closure.

It can provide some of the most natural results of all the reconstructive options and is less complicated than a skin graft.

The main disadvantage of this technique is the potential for scarring on the forehead. Ideally, this will not be a concern. However, some patients prefer to choose other options rather than risk an unsightly scar arising due to unforeseen complications.

Want to Learn More?

If you are interested in more information about nasal reconstruction surgery or cosmetic nasal surgery, please contact Dr. Hung at his Pasadena office at 626-432-5032 or his Newport Beach office at 949-574-8292.

What Is a Split-Thickness Skin Graft?

, | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

3 Minute Read:

Skin grafts are used to cover and repair the wounds left by skin cancer treatment when the surrounding skin is not healthy enough to heal by traditional wound healing.

Women touching her smooth and healthy legs after skin cancer resconstruction.

Reconstruction of skin cancers can be difficult on the lower legs because of the tight skin, the presence of spider and varicose veins, and the necessity of that skin to stretch and expand when walking or exercising.

Since men and women often expose their lower legs, especially during the hot Southern California summers, reconstruction of skin cancers on the legs is essential.

How Do Skin Grafts Work?

A skin graft takes skin from a healthy area of the body and transfers it to a different area that cannot repair itself.

While skin grafts are almost always used after skin cancer surgery, such as Mohs surgery, it can also be used to treat burns, large wounds, and infections.

There are two types of skin grafts available to treat these injuries: full-thickness and split-thickness skin grafts.

Split-thickness skin grafts are commonly used to cover skin cancer wounds on the lower legs.

How Is a Split-thickness Skin Graft Performed?

The difference between a full-thickness skin graft and a split-thickness skin graft is the amount of skin taken from the donor site.

Before and after for a woman undergoing reconstruction of skin cancer on her leg in Pasadena, CA.

A split-thickness skin graft removes the epidermis (the top layer of the skin) and only a portion of the dermis (the deeper layer of the skin).

A full-thickness skin graft, on the other hand, removes the epidermis and the dermis.

The split-thickness technique is used to cover large areas, which makes it ideal for the legs.

Full-thickness skin grafts are usually reserved for smaller areas, such as the face and hands, because they blend better with the surrounding skin.

Full-thickness skin grafts also heal very well, but they are not able to cover the same amount of tissue space as a split-thickness graft.

Split-thickness Skin Graft Procedure Steps:

  1. The donor site is marked depending on the size and depth of the wound that the skin will be transferred to. While split-thickness skin grafts can be taken from any area of the body, the skin is commonly removed from the inner thigh, where the donor site is easy to cover.
  2. From the donor site, the epidermis and some of the dermis is gently and carefully removed. Some epithelial cells, like the sweat glands, hair follicles, and sebaceous glands, are left at the donor site so that they can assist in the reepithelialization (healing) of the donor site.
  3. This donor skin is transferred to a skin graft carrier so that it can be meshed. Meshing is a step of the grafting process that creates small slits in the donor skin so that it can stretch to cover a larger recipient area.
  4. The meshed donor skin is then prepped, sterilized, and applied to the wound. During the healing process, new skin cells will develop and fill in the “holes” created by the meshing process.
  5. Both the donor sites and the recipient sites are wrapped and dressed in sterile bandages and gauze.

For More Information

To learn more about skin grafts or reconstruction after skin cancer, contact Dr. Hung by calling (626) 432-5032 or by filling out our online contact form. Dr. Hung performs Mohs surgery and reconstruction after skin cancer treatment in Pasadena, California.

Is Nasal Reconstruction Different from Cosmetic Nasal Surgery?

, | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

3 Minute Read:

Although nasal reconstruction and nasal surgery sound like they are one and the same, they are vastly different procedures. Nasal reconstruction fills defects or holes created by skin cancer treatment, while rhinoplasty, or cosmetic nasal surgery, alters and enhances the physical appearance or function of the nose.

Close up image of a nose

Despite being so different, at their core, both procedures enhance nasal aesthetics. Nasal reconstruction does so by moving skin and tissue. Rhinoplasty does so by altering cartilage and bone.

Nasal surgery, whether reconstructive or cosmetic, is one of the most complex and challenging forms of facial surgery. The nose is a multifaceted structure composed of cartilage, muscle, mucosa, tissue, and skin and, as if that alone did not make it difficult enough, it is the central aesthetic focus of the face.

Any defect or cosmetic insecurity is heightened when it deals with the nose, and nasal surgery can be the most rewarding type of facial enhancement.

How Does Rhinoplasty Differ from Nasal Reconstruction?

Rhinoplasty involves the surgical reshaping and reconstruction of the bone and cartilage to improve nasal functionality and aesthetics. This procedure is performed to alter a nasal profile that may have large humps or bumps, structural irregularities of the nasal tip, flared nostrils, or is not in balance with the surrounding facial features.

Rhinoplasty is performed through an open or closed method; however, this only differentiates the locations of the incisions. Rhinoplasty, regardless of technique, is performed entirely on the inside of the nose. This surgery involves shaving down the cartilage to get rid of bumps or introducing cartilage or bone grafts to augment the size or shape.

Why Is Nasal Reconstruction Essential After Skin Cancer Treatment?

The nose is one of the most common locations for skin cancer on the face. While Mohs surgery is one of the best ways to ensure that the tumor will be entirely removed and will not return, it often leaves a hole or defect in the skin.

Reconstruction focuses on preserving the nasal lining, support, and coverage. This uses one of four reconstruction techniques. The chosen method will depend on the size of your defect as well as your nasal anatomy.

Direct Linear Closure

This reconstruction technique is the easiest and most common approach when repairing a defect after Mohs surgery. Here, the two sides of the wound are pulled together, and the skin is closed in a straight line. Since most skin cancers are removed in a circle with Mohs surgery, this technique often elongates the shape of the missing skin so that the surface will not pucker when it is pulled together.

Local Flaps

The local flap technique may be offered when the defect is small. This process covers the area of missing skin by stretching the surrounding skin to cover the hole. The local flap method is less invasive and requires less recovery than skin grafts because it does not take skin or tissue from a secondary region.

Full Thickness Skin Grafts

Whereas local flaps borrow tissue from the nose, skin grafts take tissue from elsewhere on the body. This technique is required when the defect is larger, and the skin on the nose cannot be stretched to cover the hole adequately. The skin used for this graft comes from various regions of the body, and that area will be determined during your consultation.

Paramedian Forehead Flap

This technique is often considered the gold standard for nasal reconstruction. The forehead offers a large amount of tissue that can be safely relocated to the nose. This technique is ideal when the nasal defect is too large even for a standard skin graft and can create some of the most natural-looking and inconspicuous reconstructive results.

If you are about to undergo Mohs surgery for skin cancer on the nose, it is time to consider your nasal reconstruction options. Contact Dr. Hung by calling his Pasadena office at (626) 432-5032, his Newport Beach office at (949) 574-8292, or by filling out his online contact form.