Eyelid tumour removal and eyelid reconstructive surgery
An incisional biopsy is initially taken to ascertain if the lump is cancerous. This can usually be performed at the eye centre itself. Complete removal of the tumour is advised upon confirmation of the biopsy result.
Tumour removal surgery can be performed either using a frozen-section technique by an Oculoplastic surgeon (with evaluation of tumour clearance by a pathologist) or using Mohs surgery (by a Mohs surgeon) followed by reconstruction surgery by an Oculoplastic surgeon.
The reconstruction surgery is aimed at restoring not just the structure but also the function of the eyelid. This may involve flap reconstruction using neighbouring tissue or taking an autologous skin graft (from another part of the patient’s body). Skin grafts can be obtained from the same or opposite upper eyelid, the neck, the inner upper arm or the back of the ear.
Suture removal is usually done between 7 and 14 days. The healing process takes between 6 and 12 weeks for full recovery, depending on the size and extent of the tumour, and therefore the extent of reconstruction required. Tissue remodelling and complete healing to look more natural may sometimes take up to 3 to 6 months depending on the area of reconstruction.