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Skin tumors of the head and neck

Surgical treatment of skin tumors is often the mainstay of the treatment concept. Malignant skin tumors, e.g., basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma, must often be removed surgically. The resulting tissue deficits must be covered.

Due to the high frequency of such operations and the long tradition of the UKE, our Clinic of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery has exceptional expertise with regard to tumor surgery and reconstructive operations. Our services in relation to the surgical treatment of skin cancer range from removal of small tumors and subsequent plastic surgery measures to achieve the best possible aesthetic result to complex removal procedures, in cooperation with other departments (e.g., neurosurgery) if necessary, and reconstruction by means of free microsurgical transplants. Some tumor types require additional operations (e.g., removal of cervical lymph nodes or the parotid gland). The treatment concept for malignant tumors is discussed in pre- and postoperative tumor conferences wherein a recommendation concerning the need for additional treatment (e.g., radiation or chemotherapy) is determined.

Following an outpatient appointment or submission of medical findings, photos, and, if available, radiological images (CT or MRI), the necessity of surgery is discussed. Whether the surgery is scheduled on an outpatient or inpatient basis depends on many factors, such as the size of the tumor and existing comorbidities. In some cases the tumor is removed during an outpatient procedure while the defect is covered during an inpatient procedure. The first appointment comprises a consultation, a diagnostic assessment, and a briefing regarding the surgical procedure and its risks. If not determinable in advance, the decision concerning outpatient or inpatient treatment is discussed with the patient. In general, between the tumor removal surgery, including temporary wound coverage, and the final defect coverage there is a period of approximately one week, during which the tumor is examined microscopically to establish its exact type and to determine that the tumor has been excised with sufficient safety margins. In rare cases a second tumor removal operation is necessary. The average treatment duration amounts to 2 weeks.

Please direct your treatment request to the UKE International Office.

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