WHY USE A PLASTIC SURGEON FOR SKIN CANCERS?
Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
Almost every week I see patients with very unsightly scars of the face, chest and other prominent skin areas and they express surprise that I as a plastic surgeon also treat skin cancers. –Dr. Obi, please inform the public that you treat skin cancer patients!” was a comment of a face lift patient last week who had a prominent scar on her nose. This is both surprising and distressing to me because plastic surgeons are the most skilled in the diagnostic, ablative and reconstructive aspects of all skin cancers particularly in the facial areas.
During the first two decades of my plastic surgery practice, almost all surgical treatments of skin cancers were referred to plastic surgeons by dermatologists and other non surgical specialists. Unfortunately, recent generations of plastic surgeons have focused their interest in the more lucrative cosmetic aspects of plastic surgery and eliminated skin cancer patients from their practice. The void created with our skin cancer patients was therefore taken over by the non-reconstructive specialties. Although I am quick to refer patients to dermatologists; however the number of patients referred to me by dermatologists has evaporated.
THREE MAJOR TYPES OF SKIN CANCER; squamous cell, basel cell and melanoma
In contrast to my cosmetic colleagues, I have always treated benign and malignant lesions of the skin with excellent results for my patients. I perform these procedures to accommodate my large patient base particularly my senior patients. When I was featured on the cover of PSP magazine, pictured with me was T. R. Roebuck who served in General Patton’s Army during World War II. The oldest skin cancer patient I managed was a Centenarian.
Not only do we accept most insurance plans including Medicare but generally at a lower cost for the insurance companies. During my long career as a plastic surgeon, I have performed thousands of pro bono surgeries on uninsured patients.
As a pharmacist, physician and plastic surgeon with the most experience in treating skin cancers in the Jacksonville area, I have always emphasized prevention of skin cancers. My article published in May of 2010 is still appropriate for everyone. Keep in mind that the skin is the largest organ in our body and is bombarded by ultraviolet irradiation from the time of birth. As we are approaching spring and summer time, I recommend you again refer to my 2010 article:
Post Script: This blog was written at the request of a multitude of my patients during the past several years. I have great respect from all of my physician colleagues as reflected by my referral pattern. However, increasingly, patients are poorly informed regarding all of their health care options.