Plastic surgery restores cancer survivor's nose - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Plastic surgery restores cancer survivor's nose

Fischer before surgery Fischer before surgery

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- From farming to boating, outdoor activities mean a lot of us are spending too much time in the sun. But, plastic surgery saved one woman's nose when sun exposure led to skin cancer.

"It was a little scab that would not heal," Darlene Fischer said.

The result: nearly half of Fischer's nose was removed when skin cancer had to be cut out.

"We do probably one to two patients a month who have a large, large cancer on their nose that requires a more complex resconstruction," Dr. David Congdon said.

Facial plastic surgeon Dr. David Congdon was able to resconstruct Darlene's nose through skin grafting.

"Oh, I knew something had to be done because I had a hole in my nose," Fischer said.

Only weeks after the 2003 procedure, she says her nose looked like it does now, as if nothing had happened.

"And most of the time patients say that people forget they've had it done or can't even find where they had the lesion taken off," Dr. Congdon said.

Dr. Congdon says he has two goals, to get all the cancer removed and make the result look good. Darlene and her loved ones would tell him: mission accomplished.

"They can't believe it. That it turned out this well," Fischer said.

The upside to her skin cancer, Darlene discovered insurance covers an eyelid lift when vision is impaired. Now she can see more clearly thanks to Dr. Congdon repairing her sagging lids. A happy ending for a patient who the sun wasn't kind to but plastic surgery was.

Dr. Congdon says Darlene could have avoided skin cancer if she had protected herself from the sun.

Online Reporter: Tara Thomas

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