Eyelid Cancer Plastic Surgery
Skin Cancer of the Eyelids and Face
cancer often involves the skin of the eyelid or adjacent face.
Eyelid skin cancers occur most often on the lower eyelid but may
also be found on the eyelid margins, corners of the eye, eyebrow
skin or adjacent areas of the face.
Skin cancer of the eyelid
appears usually as a slowly enlarging lump usually on the
lower eyelid. The most common type is "basal cell" cancer,
which usually is a firm, pearly nodule which is non-tender.
If present at the edge of the eyelid, there may be a loss of
eyelashes. Another type of skin cancer of the eyelid
resembles a chronic infection of the lid, or blepharitis,
with redness of the lid. Melanoma can involve the outside or
inside of the eyelid, and usually is a changing, darkly
pigmented growth. Sometimes melanomas have no pigment.
Usually the cancer appears as painless elevations or
nodules. Occasionally, the eyelashes are distorted or
missing. There may be ulcerations of the involved area along
with bleeding, crusting and/or distortion of the normal skin
structure. Such findings need to be evaluated and may
require a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of skin cancer.
The most common types of skin
cancers are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell
carcinoma. Both types enlarge locally and usually do not
spread (metastasize) to distant parts of the body. However,
if not completely removed, either type will invade adjacent
It is important to know that
basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are relatively
slow-growing. Thus, when detected early and treated in a
prompt and appropriate manner, there is a better chance of
removing the tumor completely and minimizing the amount of
tissue affected by the carcinoma.
Principles of Skin Cancer
There are three very important
principles in the management of eyelid skin cancers:
After these two are achieved, the
final, important principle is for the fully trained oculofacial
specialist to design the surgery to give the optimal cosmetic
Although radiation treatment may
be effective, because of the risks of serious side effects, it
is almost exclusively reserved for debilitated patients.
Complete removal of the tumor is
critical to minimize the possibility of recurrence, which is
even more difficult to manage. The surgeon may remove the tumor
and have a pathologist check the tissue margins ("frozen
section") to be sure the
tumor is completely removed. In another
method, a dermatologic surgeon excises the tumor in a special
way ("Mohs technique") to insure total removal.
Once the tumor has been
completely removed, reconstructive surgery is usually necessary.
Many excellent techniques are available to reconstruct almost
any surgical defect. The surgery is performed as an outpatient
(there is usually no need for hospitalization). Local
anesthesia, which numbs the eyelid, is combined with light
sedation so there is little, if any, pain during or even after
To effectively treat skin cancers
of the eyelids and face requires a special understanding of the
anatomy and pathophysiology of the eyelid. The excellent general
plastic surgeon who does tummy tucks and breast augmentations
almost NEVER has been trained in eyelid anatomy or
pathophysiology and should NOT be the one you choose to treat
your eyelid and facial skin cancer, which should be treated only
by a fully fellowship trained oculo-facial surgeon. Fellowship
in the American Society of Oculo-facial Plastic and
Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) indicates that the surgeon has
greatest specialized training and expertise in this
If you have skin cancer of the
eyelid or face, please consult with Dr. Kass who is fully
trained to treat this problem and has been in practice in Tampa
Bay for over 27 years.
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Please contact the Kass Center for Cosmetic Facial
and Eye Plastic Surgery or call 727-522-3223 (FACE) for more information and a
The Kass Center for Cosmetic Facial & Eye Plastic Surgery
Lawrence G. Kass, M.D.
Petersburg (Main) Office
6025 4th Street North
St. Petersburg, Florida 33703
1811 North Belcher Rd
Clearwater, Florida 33765
Phone: (727) 725-4612
June 01, 2013 |
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