Plastic surgery an overlooked part of cancer care

What comes to mind when you think of plastic surgery? Many people think of face lifts and nose jobs, but it can be much more than that. Plastic surgeons perform both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.

July 15 marks World Plastic Surgery Day, which serves as an opportunity for Aspirus Health to educate community members about the vital role that these specialists can play in cancer care.

While the goal of any cancer treatment is to cure the patient, sometimes cancer treatment will damage or change areas of the body.  A plastic surgeon, using reconstructive surgery techniques, can restore the areas of the body that have been surgically altered.

“Having reconstructive surgery can positively impact the patient’s sense of well-being and their quality of life,” said Elizabeth Renaker-Jansen, DO, a plastic surgeon with Aspirus Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics in Wausau. “Knowing the body can be restored allows the surgeon to be very aggressive when removing the cancerous areas of the body.”

Breast reconstruction after the removal of a breast, known as a mastectomy, is one common type of reconstructive surgery. Depending on the patient’s course of treatment, sometimes breast reconstruction can be performed at the time of the mastectomy. The objective of the plastic surgeon is to restore the patient to their former self.

Plastic surgeons also perform reconstructive surgery on other parts of the body that have been affected by skin cancer surgery or other procedures. Hearing the diagnosis of skin cancer is made more difficult when it could result in scars. Plastic surgeons understand this and make every effort to treat your skin cancer without dramatically changing your appearance.

Plastic surgeons play an integral role in the comprehensive cancer care of patients and can help restore what cancer has taken away.

To learn more about plastic surgery and aesthetic options at Aspirus, visit or call 715-870-2162.