1.3 Eyelid Reconstruction following Skin Cancer
Malignant or pre-malignant skin tumours are, across the board, not common. However uncommon though and for a variety of reasons, the eyelid is where they are will very often occur. The skin around the eye is very thin and vulnerable to the sun’s radiation; it is also the very area where sun-protection cream is often not applied.
The diagnosis and surgical management of cancer around the eye should only ever be managed by an oculoplastic surgeon in collaboration with a Dermatologist specialising in Mohs Micrographic Surgery. This collaborative management approach offers a less than 0.5% chance of tumour recurrence for the commonest periocular cancer, the Basal Cell Carcinoma.
Following the safe removal of the tumour, the reconstruction of the eyelid and tissues surrounding the eye is an intricate process which must be carefully planned and carried out by the oculoplastic team, so that both the appearance of the area and the protection of the eye are ensured. Eyelid tumours present in different sizes and locations and as such the recovery time and function will vary. Patients should however be adequately counselled in detail before surgery. One should also expect a personalised plan consisting of regular post-surgical monitoring and support for the days and weeks after treatment.