Facial plast Surg 2011; 27(3): 235-236
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1275771

© Thieme Medical Publishers

Skin Cancer of the Face

Volker Schwipper1
  • 1Fachklinik Hornheide, Münster, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
12 May 2011 (online)

“Worshipping” the sun to get a nice suntan was most common in the Western countries during the 1950s and 1960s and has led to a dramatic increase in the incidence of tumors of the facial skin in 50- to 80-year-old patients. Every surgeon specializing in facial plastic surgery is being confronted with this problem more and more often in addition to the modern requests for rejuvenation of the face.

Surgical treatment of malignant tumors of the head and neck always means a visible disturbance of a patient's facial integrity. The surgeon therefore has to be aware of the fact that complete removal of the tumor and closure of the resulting defect by local and regional flaps must imply—especially in the patient's view—avoiding large and visible scars.

Almost all common facial flaps applied today were described in the 19th century and modified only up to the middle of the 20th century. The names of Dieffenbach, von Graefe, Szymanowski, Zeis, and many others should be noted in this context.

Regarding the replacement of nasal skin, the “Italian method” according to Tagliacozzi was applied as early as in the 15th and 16th centuries. An “Indian method” to replace nasal skin was published first during the Vedic period by Sushruta. This was later reported in the Madras Gazette in 1793. The majority of modern modifications of local and regional flaps in facial surgery have been published in the English and Anglo-American literature, to name a few authors: Burget, Menick, Conley, Converse, Gillies, Grabb and Myers, Kazanjian, Mustarde.

I am glad to have been able to receive the cooperation of an interdisciplinary group of surgeons in the fields of maxillofacial, ear, nose, and throat, and plastic surgery to prepare the current issue of Facial Plastic Surgery. I am hopeful that the contributions in the different fields of surgery will deepen the discussion of alternatives of local flaps in the face.

The articles on mucosal malignant melanoma and invasive basal cell carcinoma (basalioma terebrans) were added because to date there has been no comparable article on the results of treatment of these disorders worldwide.