Reconstructing Eyelids After Removing a Cancerous Lesion

Published on November 27, 2018

Can you guess the most common type of cancer that affects humans? Surprisingly enough, it’s skin cancer. Skin cancer is caused by excessive sun exposure, and the face is the most likely part of the body to get affected.

The range of severity for skin cancer can extend from small and superficial lesions that can be treated topically or with cryotherapy to more severe tumors that could spread throughout the body and require extensive surgical resection, radiation, or chemotherapy.

The skin of the lower and upper eyelids is particularly susceptible to the development of cancerous lesions, since it is quite thin and is frequently exposed to the sun. Suspicious skin lesions and areas of ulceration should be taken seriously and promptly evaluated by Dr. Sami at Houston Oculofacial.

Skin-Cancer Removal at Houston Oculofacial

Topical or non-surgical treatments can be used effectively by dermatologists to treat early or pre-cancerous lesions. Surgical excision is required for more advanced skin cancers.

The Mohs technique is frequently utilized to excise skin cancers on the eyelids. Specially trained surgeons perform this procedure by removing the tumor and examining the tissue under the microscope to check that all the cancer has been removed. It spares unaffected skin around a lesion and offers a low rate of reemergence – factors that are vital for skin cancer of the eyelids.

Eyelid Reconstruction at Houston Oculofacial

Patients who suffer from eyelid skin cancer not only have to deal with their cancer but also the fact that the treatment and removal process of this cancer interferes with a major feature of their identity – their face.

When the cancer is removed, what remains is the challenge of reconstructing the resulting wound in order to restore any lost functionality and the natural appearance. Dr. Mirwat Sami is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. With her extensive training and experience, she is well suited for this mode of reconstruction.

It is important to note that the damage done by skin cancer can never quite be undone and there is no surgery that can be performed without leaving a mark. Eyelid-reconstruction surgery aims to return the individual’s eyelid functionality and form without any permanent evidence of the lesion removal.

Methods of Reconstruction

There are several methods that may be used to repair the defects of skin cancer. Some of these are:
• Primary Repair
• Secondary-Intention Healing
• Skin Grafting
• Local Flap Reconstruction

No matter which method a reconstructive surgeon chooses, it is vital that the patient have regular follow-ups so they can watch closely for cancer recurrence or even the development of new cancers.

The healing period after reconstructive surgery can take some time. Additional interventions may be suggested throughout the healing process to optimize the final outcome and minimize post-surgical marks. Injectable treatments, topical wound-care therapy, dermabrasion, laser treatment, or surgical revision are interventions that may be advised.

Have You Noticed a Suspicious Lesion?

If you’ve noticed an eyelid lesion that may be cancerous, you will need to contact Houston Oculofacial as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for a consultation. If removal and eyelid reconstruction will be necessary, we will be happy to help you through the process.