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Tumor removal is one of the most commonly performed reconstructive surgeries in the United States. In addition to correcting abnormalities that may result from birth defects, injuries, and infections, plastic surgeons also commonly treat benign or cancerous tumors.
Tumors, or abnormal growths, vary significantly in size, structure, severity, and recurrence. Tumor removal methods are dependant on a number of factors including:
- Type of the tumor
- Size of the tumor
- Location of the tumor
- Stage or development of the tumor
- Potential for recurrence of the tumor
Tumor removal methods also range in complexity. Skin cancer and small growth removals are less invasive than the removal of large or spreading cancers. In small tumor removal, a surgeon will extract the tumor or the cancerous area with a scalpel and stitch up the wound or allow it to heal on its own. In cases of large tumors or spreading skin cancers, major invasive surgery is required, involving skin grafts or flaps to reconstruct the treated area.
After tumor removal reconstructive surgery, most patients are required to undergo follow-up treatments and medical imaging to ensure there is no recurrence or redevelopment of the growth.
As with any other surgery, there are a number of risks associated with tumor removal including infections, improper wound closure, unattractive scarring, bleeding, and complications with anesthesia.