Mohs surgery is a proven procedure to treat eyelid cancer. In the Mohs technique, the surgeon removes the visible tumor along with small pieces of the edge of where the tumor was located. Every tiny fragment is assessed under a microscope until all cancer is excised.
Reliable oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Hui provides Mohs surgery for eyelid cancer to patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Coachella Valley, Riverside, Redlands, Yucaipa, Loma Linda, and surrounding locations in this section of California.
Types of Eyelid Tumors Treated with Mohs Surgery
Mohs surgery is typically used for more significant tumors, a tumor in a location that is hard to access, and for cancer that has recurred in the same area. For removing an eyelid tumor, Mohs surgery has increasingly become a preferred approach.
In the eye area, this procedure eliminates basal cell and squamous cell cancers which are located on the lids or in the area surrounding the eyes. The most frequently occurring type of skin cancer is basal cell cancer. This cancer develops in the skin’s deepest layer and almost always occurs due to sun exposure.
The second most commonly occurring type of skin cancer is the squamous cell cancer. They develop just underneath the skin’s outer layer. Early detection is crucial for the treatment of both basal cell and squamous cell cancers.
Mohs surgery is also used in the removal of melanoma which is a more aggressive type of skin cancer. However, melanoma usually develops within the eye rather than on the lid.
Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialized procedure that is undertaken using local anesthesia to eliminate skin cancers. The surgeon will perform this procedure in-office in a majority of cases.
The patient remains awake throughout the procedure. However, the Mohs surgeon may give the patient medication to enable them to relax. Initially, the surgeon will numb the skin surrounding the malignant area so that the patient does not feel any pain. Subsequently, they will excise any suspicious sites along with a layer of surrounding tissue.
The surgeon will evaluate this tissue under a microscope. In case they detect any cancer cells, they will remove another adjacent skin layer. The surgeon will repeat this process until they cannot detect any malignant cells under the microscope. The time taken for the procedure is typically a few hours.
As the surgeon assesses the removed tissue, this surgery reduces the requirement to excise normal tissue. This surgery aims to completely remove the skin cancer while leaving behind a minor tissue defect. This enables enhanced wound healing and better aesthetic outcomes.
Furthermore, the surgeon may also explain reconstructive surgery options to the patient based on the location and size of cancer that they excise. In case the defect is on the face, lids, or eye itself, a specialist ophthalmologist with exclusive training in this area will assist in the reconstruction procedure.
After the surgery, the surgeons will oversee the patient to ensure that they heal appropriately.
Eyelid Mohs surgery and reconstruction offers many benefits. Firstly, the rate of cure for Mohs surgery for eyelid cancer is very high. In many cases, basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are cured.
Secondly, as the eyelid has complex anatomy, even minor lid defects may need cutting-edge reconstruction techniques. Mohs surgery causes a small defect as it eliminates tissue in individual “levels.” This surgery is also suitable for tumors that recur, or tumors with hard to identify edges.