Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that has the potential to be very serious. Treatment has traditionally involved removal of large areas of skin surrounding the tumor. Those large areas often require flaps or skin grafts to close. Since plastic surgeons are the masters of flaps and grafts, they have traditionally been the ones who take care of melanoma.
Melanoma is more serious than some other types of skin cancers because they are more likely to metastasize, that is to move to other areas such as the liver, lungs, bone and brain. It is the damage they do in these remote sites that can be lethal.
When melanoma is detected early, it may be completely cured by excision of the original site. Unfortunately, when detected late, there is often little that can be done. The good news here is that early detection leads to many cures.
There are many great websites dedicated to melanoma education. We won’t try to reproduce that information here. We just wanted you to know that we are experts in melanoma care and to answer the frequently asked question “…but why am I seeing a plastic surgeon?”