“Specializing in Reconstructive Plastic Surgery of Skin Cancer”
Board Certified in Plastic Surgery since 1992
Skin cancer is becoming more prevalent, and fortunately there is more awareness of preventing and detecting it. But still nearly five million people are treated for it in the U.S. each year. We all need to see our dermatologists regularly (recommended annually) to be able to detect the skin lesions that may go on to be skin cancers (called actinic keratoses), and to find skin cancers when they are very small and easier to treat.
Dr. Gregory Diehl works very closely with our local dermatologists on Long Island to treat skin cancers when they need surgical removal and repair. When a skin cancer is removed, the surrounding skin needs to be repaired so that a scar does not show. Depending on the size and location of the area, sometimes the dermatologist makes the repair and other times the plastic surgeon makes the repair. This is why it is a team effort between you, your dermatologist and your plastic surgeon.
Skin cancers can be very damaging. Most, such as the basal cell type (the most common), do not spread around your body (they almost never metastasize). But they do serious damage to the surrounding skin, and are much bigger under a microscope than they seem to the naked eye. The Mohs technique (named after Dr. Fredrick Mohs who developed it) uses microscopic analysis of the skin to determine exactly where the skin cancer is, so that only that skin is removed where the tumor cells are. Specialized dermatologists (the Mohs surgeons) train specifically in this technique.
Dr. Diehl has extensive experience with reconstruction of skin cancer. Smaller tumors can be treated with relatively straightforward closure techniques. Larger defects require more complicated surgical repair, such as skin flaps or skin grafts, especially when on or around the nose, lips or eyelids. This means either designing a way to rearrange the skin in a pattern that fits that area (skin “flap”), or bringing skin as a skin graft from a location such as behind the ear where it won’t show.
Dr. Diehl has a large photo library of reconstructions that he has performed over the years. Sometimes the defects that result from skin cancer removal can be daunting, as they are larger than the patient initially anticipates. This is why a good team approach is so important in treating these problems.
“I have a better way,” said Dr. Diehl, who explained how he would take skin from the upper right side of my nose and use it to seamlessly cover the cancerous area that was removed during the Mohs procedure. It was ingenious. And artistic. And swell, even though my nose didn’t swell any more than it did before. Now I am cancer-free, on the mend and looking as lovely as ever. And I owe it to Drs. Korzenko, Jones and Diehl, all of whom are credits to their profession and good guys to boot. I may not be a doctor myself, but I am going to give everyone a prescription: Go to the dermatologist regularly and wear sunscreen.
Read the entire article of “The Skin Game”
by Jerry Zezima, humorist
Thank you for precise stitching and attention to detail during my wife’s surgery to close her MOHS operation wound. Your explanation to me was very much appreciated. Thanks for taking the time. I will highly recommend you to everyone that may need your services.
by Ray MckennaBack to Top