Tumors are abnormal growths of tissue that can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Tumors on the eyelid should be evaluated and treated as soon as possible. Even a benign tumor can cause pain or irritation to the eye. A biopsy will usually determine whether the eyelid tumor is benign or malignant. Benign eyelid lesions can completely excised at the patient’s initial visit to the Dallas or Plano offices of Oculoplastic Associates of Texas. Most cancers of the eyelid (about 85 – 95%) are basal cell carcinomas that form on the surface of the eyelid. They are malignant but rarely spread to other parts of the body. Occasionally it is also possible to see squamous cell carcinomas, sebaceous cell carcinomas, and malignant melanoma of the eyelid.
During eyelid tumor removal surgery, the doctor may use several techniques to completely remove the tumor. This may include Mohs technique, a wedge biopsy, or cryotherapy. Once the tumor is removed, the doctor will perform any needed reconstruction to restore the eyes to a normal appearance using flaps or other techniques.
If there is a defect after the tumor has been removed, the doctor will reconstruct the eyelid or orbit so that it both functions properly and looks normal. Reconstruction is tailored to each patient based on the size and location of the defect. The doctor will speak to each patient about their post-operational care instructions and determine when the patient should return for a follow up appointment.
Most cancers of the eyelid (about 85 – 95%) are basal cell carcinomas that form on the inside of the inner eyelid. They are malignant but rarely spread to other parts of the body. Treatment is usually surgical removal.
A tumor on the eyelid does not necessarily mean the patient has eyelid cancer. Many are removed and then determined to be benign cysts, inflammations, or skin cancer. It is important that patients have their eyelids inspected regularly by a doctor and they seek treatment right away for any tumors.
Some patients may have a medium or large tumor removed, which will require the doctor to perform eyelid reconstruction after the removal surgery. While the patient is still under anesthesia, the doctor will reconstruct the eyelid with skin flaps or other reconstruction techniques to restore the patient’s eyelid to an even, symmetrical appearance.