Reconstruction Requires a Specialty Surgeon

May might have been Skin Cancer Awareness month, but protecting your complexion from the sun’s harmful rays should be top of mind 365-days a year. Why? According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), skin cancer of prominent and delicate areas of the face is on the rise. According to the AAFPRS annual member survey, skin cancer continues to be the primary cause for facial plastic surgeons to perform reconstructive procedures such as nasal reconstruction after Mohs Surgery. 

Because interventions to remove skin cancers may need to be aggressive, removing skin of normal facial landmarks, patients are often equally concerned about the outcomes of the reconstruction as they are the cancer treatment itself. For this reason, “we always advise patients to ‘trust your face to a facial plastic surgeon’,” says Corey S. Maas, MD, president of the AAFPRS. “Facial reconstructive surgeons have an unparalleled expertise in the face, neck and ears, a level of training that’s non-negotiable for complex procedures like Mohs reconstructions,” confirms Dr. Sydney Butts, a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon based in Brooklyn, NY, and a member of the AAFPRS Board of Directors.

Further illustrating the importance of selecting a skilled surgeon is Geraldine Mechanic-Grossman, a patient of Dr. Butts who had been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, an extremely aggressive form of skin cancer. “My dermatologist performed a Mohs surgery during which he removed several layers of skin in more than five rounds of excision, and then referred me to Dr. Sydney Butts for reconstructive surgery,” she says. 
“Like all of my patients, Ms. Mechanic-Grossman was concerned about significant scarring,” says Butts. “Though her Mohs surgery required extensive repair, we were able to minimize scarring by borrowing skin from the top of the forehead and repositioning it onto the nose by a thin skin bridge that was later removed. This procedure is called a paramedian forehead flap. We also had to add cartilage to the nostril from her nasal septum to prevent collapse of the nose during breathing.” 

Dr. Butts continues, “It is very important to have a detailed conversation with patients prior to performing complex multi-stage procedures like this. Showing them pictures before hand and supporting them over the weeks between the stages the procedure takes are keys to the success of the procedure and the satisfaction the patient feels.”

Today, Mechanic-Grossman is cancer-free—and thrilled with her results. “I was completely disfigured, but Dr. Butts made me look like myself again,” she says. “In addition to wearing sunscreen and a hat and sunglasses year-round, this incident has taught me the importance of really doing your research and choosing the best surgeon for the job.”
In addition to reminding prospective surgery patients to select a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, the AAFPRS offers its ‘Find A Surgeon’ resource as a fool-proof way to begin the selection process.


The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is the world’s largest specialty association for facial plastic surgery. It represents more than 2,200 facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons throughout the world. The AAFPRS is a National Medical Specialty Society of the American Medical Association (AMA), and holds an official seat in both the AMA House of Delegates and the American College of Surgeons board of governors. AAFPRS members are board certified surgeons whose focus is surgery of the face, head, and neck (inclusive of Rhinoplasty and Facial Rejuvenation). More information at
For more information, or to schedule an interview with an AAFPRS spokesperson, please contact the Academy’s public relations firm, KELZ Media at 646-450-5359 or email 
Twitter: @AAFPRS
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