Newport Beach

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

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

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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.