The first sentinel node biopsy procedure for facial melanoma was performed recently at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. The treatment team was directed by plastic surgeon Jon Mathy, M.D. and included Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Nuclear Medicine department.
The face is one of the most common locations for melanoma, and melanoma is the leading cause of death from skin cancer, resulting in some 9,000 deaths per year.
“If you have melanoma of the head and neck,” says Dr. Mathy, “then it’s important to talk with your doctor about the benefits of looking beyond the skin surface to the lymph nodes in the area.”
For patients with facial melanoma, access to a multidisciplinary team in the community where they work and live results in better care. “Melanoma can be a highly morbid and frightening disease,” says Dr. Mathy. “It’s helpful to treat patients in their own community, where they can lean on the support of family and friends. When indicated, additional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy can also be administered in our community.”
The patient on whom the sentinel node biopsy was performed had a favorable outcome. “Dr. Mathy told me there were no signs that my cancer had spread,” says Gordon Baxter of Rosenberg. “I was relieved to hear that I wouldn’t need any more treatment.
For an appointment with Dr. Mathy or another plastic surgeon in your area call Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s physician referral line 281-274-7500 or visit MethodistSugarLand.com.