Eyelid Skin Cancer Reconstruction
WHAT IS EYELID SKIN CANCER RECONSTRUCTION?
Eyelid tissue is especially prone to developing tumors. Even when these are benign, their effect on our eyesight means that they must be dealt with quickly.
Because the eyelids are so delicate, their surgical reconstruction is a demanding and painstaking process that should be entrusted only to a qualified oculofacial plastic surgeon. Based on Dr. Stout’s exceptional skills, knowledge, and experience, reconstruction of eyelids affected by cancer can usually be restored to their natural appearance and full functionality.
WHAT ARE EYELID CANCERS?
Cancers of the eyelid tend to fall into one of four categories:
- Sebaceous cell carcinomas are the rarest form of eyelid cancer. They form in the sebaceous glands of the eye, which contribute the oily component of tears. These cancers are often mistaken at first for benign styes; when normal treatment does not eliminate a stye, it should be biopsied to check for cancerous cells. If cancer is indicated, the affected sebaceous glands are removed.
- Malignant melanoma is rarely seen on the eyelid, but any time a melanoma is suspected, it should be investigated immediately, and probably biopsied. When malignant melanoma is confirmed, it is excised and the affected area reconstructed; reconstruction may require skin grafts. Because melanoma spreads so quickly, special care should be taken to look for signs of metastasis, even in areas of the skin far removed from the eyelid.
- Squamous cell carcinomas present themselves at first as small bumps on the eyelid. They are somewhat more common than malignant melanoma, and have the same capacity to spread throughout the patient’s system. Excision generally causes less damage than that of melanomas, though reconstructive surgery is usually required.
- Basal cell carcinomas represent the vast majority of all eyelid cancers. Like squamous cell carcinomas, these cancers appear as small raised bumps, often with small blood vessels apparent to the naked eye. Surgery for basal cell carcinoma resembles that for the squamous cell variety, though basal cell carcinoma does not present the same threat of system-wide metastasis.
After care for removal of these cancers may vary with the specific details of the surgery performed, but always involves careful monitoring of the patient’s entire system to check for signs if the cancer has spread to other parts of the eye or body.
I AM INTERESTED. HOW SHOULD I PROCEED?
Dr. Stout’s goal during the consultation is to provide the patient with information and teach them as much as possible. He begins by listening and will ask the patient what they would like to discuss and what their goals are. The patient’s input is very important. This allows Dr. Stout to work together with the patient through the decision-making process and establish a plan based upon their goals. He believes that knowledge is empowering as it enables his patients to make decisions with confidence and makes them a better partner in the entire process.
Dr. Stout is happy to have the patient bring a family member or friend to the consultation to ask questions and listen. He encourages patients to bring up any concerns that they may have. His consultations are designed to understand each patient’s situation, teach them and give them honest advice so they leave with useful knowledge with which to consider their options.
If you are considering this procedure, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stout.