When tissue is removed surgically from the face, such as in skin cancer removal, an open wound (or defect) remains. Reconstruction (or closure) of the defect may be done using a local skin flap.
A local flap is created by using adjacent skin to fill the defect. The adjacent skin is cut to release some of its attachment in order to pull it into the defect. The flap is designed to create the least obvious scar and to rearrange the tension of the closure. This may result in a pattern, such as a Z, a Y, an L or a T. The length of repair may initially appear longer than expected, but this is necessary to maintain the natural contours of the area. The technique providing the best aesthetic outcome will be selected. The flap is secured with sutures.
The incisions gradually fade over several weeks. This type of closure is usually a one stage process, but any remaining irregularities can be revised in about 6 weeks. An elevated scar line can be smoothed with dermabrasion or scar revision.
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