When cancer invades the skin and surrounding tissue of the eyelid, surgery is typically required to remove it and as much affected tissue as possible. Several types of skin cancer can affect the eyelids.
The most common are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Eyelid cancers are usually slow growing, however because there is very little eyelid tissue to begin with, it is best to excise the lesion as soon as possible.
This is often done in conjunction with a Mohs dermatologic surgeon who ensures that the entire tumor has been excised at a microscopic level. The reconstruction can then be performed the same day or the next day. Dr. Marshak has extensive experience in eyelid reconstructions, ranging from small closures to reconstruction of an entire eyelid, depending on the size of the defect after complete excision of the tumor.
The techniques used for eyelid reconstruction depend on the extent of the tumor removal. Local tissue flaps or a full thickness skin graft may be needed to restore function and improve cosmetic appearance. Sometimes tissue from the upper eyelid is used to reconstruct the lower eyelid and vice versa.
Recovery from eyelid reconstruction can vary depending on multiple factors including age, health, genetics and previous surgery. After most eyelid surgeries, heavy physical activity and sports are not recommended for the first week after surgery, however, normal activity (walking, shopping) is permitted. There are usually no bandages and showering is permitted the day after surgery.
It is common for patients to develop bruising and swelling the majority of the swelling goes away in two to three weeks, but some swelling can last for a longer period of time as every patient heals at different rates depending on age and skin type. Dr. Marshak will personally see you frequently in the post-operative period to monitor your healing and ensure you are on course.
If you are anticipating eyelid cancer removal surgery, contact Dr. Marshak in Palm Desert today to schedule a consultation for eyelid skin cancer reconstruction.