Trauma, cancer treatments, and certain congenital conditions can result in serious facial disfigurement and defects. Reconstructive facial surgery, a crucial application of modern plastic surgery techniques, helps to repair both faces and lives. Dr. Hillstrom and Dr. Wright are fully trained and qualified in the field of reconstructive facial plastic surgery and are prepared to help with even the most serious cases of cancer, trauma or birth defects.

During a personal reconstructive surgery consultation with Dr. Hillstrom or Dr. Wright, the surgeon will examine you to determine the best techniques for treatment. Further testing such as CT imaging may be necessary before the final plan can be made. Dr. Hillstrom or Dr. Wright will formulate a treatment plan and illustrate the expected postoperative outcomes to help you make decisions about your reconstructive surgery.


Skin Cancer Removal

Skin cancers are among the most common cancers. There are a variety of risk factors including environmental exposures, genetic predisposition, radiation exposure and immunosuppression. Skin cancers can be broadly divided into melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma). In addition, skin appendage cancers (arising from sweat glands, hair follicles and sebaceous glands) may also involve the skin. Any individual with a lesion that does not go away, changes, itches, bleeds, or simply concerns them should be evaluated for possible biopsy. The earlier a skin cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.


Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. In general these skin cancers occur in sun-exposed areas and more than 75% are discovered in the head and neck region. These cancers are generally slow-growing and rarely metastasize (spread). Chronic sun exposure, particularly during childhood and adolescence, is the greatest risk factor. Other risk factors include ionizing radiation, immunosuppression and certain genetic syndromes. Surgical resection and reconstruction is the treatment of choice. For optimal results, trust your reconstruction to a Board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon.


Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

Although less common then BCC, SCC is generally considered more serious. These tumors can grow more rapidly and have a relatively increased likelihood of spreading to other parts of the body (metastasizing). The incidence of SCC has increased over the last decade. The risk factors for SCC include sun exposure, ionizing radiation, immunosuppression, as well as certain viruses (human papilloma virus), genetics and chronic skin disorders (burns, sinus tracts, and certain wounds). Surgical resection and reconstruction is the treatment of choice. Again, for optimal results, trust your reconstruction to a Board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon.


Premalignant Lesions

Premalignant lesions are skin lesions that have the potential of becoming cancers. They include actinic keratosis, Bowen's disease, leukoplakia, erythroplakia, keratoacanthoma as well as radiation dermatitis. These lesions can be difficult to distinguish from invasive skin cancers.



Malignant melanomas are the most lethal of the skin cancers, and may arise de novo (new) or from a pre-existing "mole". Melanomas are usually (but not always) pigmented, and can be difficult to distinguish from moles. Irregular borders, change in color or size, ulceration, and bleeding are all signs suggesting possible melanoma. These cancers have a high potential to metastasize, and the overall prognosis is related to the depth of invasion.



The treatment of skin cancers is dependent on many factors. For most skin cancers surgical excision is recommended. Often premalignant-appearing lesions such as actinic keratoses are treated with nonsurgical methods such as freezing (cryotherapy), cauterization, laser vaporization and topical chemical agents.


Recovery Following Facial Reconstruction

Recovery varies greatly depending on the area treated and the amount of reconstructive surgery performed. Swelling and bruising are common following surgery and typically heal within two weeks. Sutures are generally removed five to seven days after the surgery. Redness of the incision line can persist from weeks to months, depending on how quickly an individual’s body heals. Any scars that result from the procedure generally become less noticeable over time.


Facial Reconstruction Results

Results of facial reconstruction vary depending on the type and extent of reconstruction performed. Improved appearance is typically noticeable immediately following surgery and the results last a lifetime.


To learn more about Reconstructive Facial Surgery, please contact Dr. Robert Hillstrom and Dr. Harry Wright at Hillstrom Facial Plastic Surgery today.


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