Because of an undiagnosed genetic disease, called porphyria, 79-year-old Olivia has had to deal with sunburns and sun poisoning most of her life. As a result, she has experienced several bouts of skin cancer in the past few years.
Several years ago, Olivia was referred to Dr. Paul M. Parker of the Parker Center by her Mohs’ surgeon. Mohs’ micrographic surgery is a specialized dermatological procedure where the surgeon removes cancerous tissue and immediately evaluates the surrounding cells to be sure they have excised all the cancer cells. The surgeon continues to remove tissue and test this tissue until the area is clear. This procedure leaves patients with a defect in the skin that cannot be accurately estimated prior to surgery. It typically requires a plastic surgeon’s reconstruction skills to correct.
Olivia has undergone four Mohs’ procedures, with the most recent one completed in January. After her Mohs’ procedure Olivia came to Dr. Parker with a nickel-sized defect on the tip of her nose. Because of the size of the defect and the prominent placement, Olivia was very apprehensive about the results of her reconstructive surgery.
“I was so worried about the corrective surgery because it was right on my nose. I was really afraid of how I was going to look. Luckily, I had this type of surgery with Dr. Parker before, and I trusted him. I knew it would all be okay,” said Olivia.
Dr. Parker transferred a finger sized piece of skin and underlying tissue from the patient’s forehead as a “flap” to replace the tissue which was removed during the Mohs procedure. The flap was sutured to the nasal defect and the forehead donor site closed with sutures as well. With the flap attached in this manner, it allowed collateral circulation to grow from the surrounding nasal skin into the flaps over the next three weeks. Olivia was requested to be extremely careful during this time: no exertion, no lifting and because the surgery was on her nose, she couldn’t wear her glasses to read. Three weeks after the original procedure, Dr. Parker returned the patient to the operating room for a relatively brief surgery whereby the attachment of the flap between her nose and forehead were severed. Now both the forehead and nose looked normal. Once this surgery and recovery were complete, Olivia could not have been more pleased with the results.
“It looks fabulous. No one would ever know that I had a nickel-sized hole in my nose. The slight scar on my forehead from the flap is covered with my bangs, so no one really sees that either. It’s unbelievable how good it looks! Dr. Parker did an absolutely wonderful job,” Olivia exclaimed.
While Olivia didn’t tell her friends or family she was having the procedure, her other doctors and their medical staffs knew. Both her family doctor and her orthopedic surgeon were very impressed with Dr. Parker’s reconstruction skills. Her pharmacist told her she has seen other Mohs’ patients from other surgeons, and Olivia’s results were simply amazing.
“I have known Dr. Parker for a long time, and I really trust him. He is the best at what he does, no doubt about it. I want other people to read my story so they won’t be as fearful as I was. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions exactly. I think that’s why I healed so well,” Olivia stated.
At the Parker Center for Plastic Surgery, patients undergoing coordinated reconstruction surgery following their Mohs’ surgery will see Dr. Parker immediately afterwards for an evaluation. Dr. Parker finalizes the surgical plan during the visit, and reconstruction surgery is planned for later the same day or the following day.
Dr. Parker is a board certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years’ experience. His dedication to patient care, education and his success in creating the most natural looking results have given him a tremendous reputation as a plastic surgeon.
To learn more about reconstructive surgery or any other cosmetic procedure, visit the website at www.parkercenter.net or call our office to arrange a consultation at (201) 967-1212.