Most eyelid cancer patients need reconstructive surgery. Reconstructive surgery is distinct from plastic surgery as it is usually undertaken to enhance the function of the eye. However, it can be performed to improve the appearance of the eye area as well.
The reconstructive process usually involves a series of surgeries spread over a period of time. Normal structures undergo plastic surgery for an improved appearance. A surgeon may make use of skin grafts to fully reconstruct the eyelid offering the patient a normal appearance.
Experienced oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Hui provides reconstructive eyelid surgery after cancer to patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Coachella Valley, Riverside, Redlands, Yucaipa, Loma Linda, and other suburbs and neighborhoods in this area of the country.
Suitable Candidates for Eyelid Reconstruction
If a patient has been diagnosed with skin cancer on the eyelid, they would most likely require reconstructive surgery. The extent of the procedure will be determined by the size of the growth. In addition, patients who have suffered an injury causing damage to the eyelid or surrounding area will also require reconstructive surgery.
Need for Eyelid Reconstruction
Eyelid reconstruction may offer the following benefits:
- Physical trauma or injury
- Defect following cancer surgery
- Defect after tumor excision
- Complications from a past eyelid procedure
After surgery to excise a growth or tumor from the eyelid region, eyelid reconstruction surgery is typically necessary.
In case the cancer leaves a prominent divot (a hole where the tissue was excised), then reconstruction surgery can restore the lost tissue in this region. This surgical procedure is vital for facial appearance as well as the proper functioning of the lid.
What does Eyelid Reconstruction Involve?
The eyelid reconstruction surgery process will depend on the nature of the defect and how it needs to be restored. Simple eyelid injuries can be repaired with sutures only. However, more severe injuries and defects may need skin grafting, likely sourced from another site near the eyelid, or a flap of muscles and skin sourced from another location on the patient’s body.
This procedure is complex, intricate, and crucially important. Our oculofacial surgeons are highly experienced and specialize in surgical procedures of the face and eyes. They have a detailed understanding of eyelid damage repair while accounting for eye appearance, tear ducts, function, and other factors.
Enucleation and Evisceration
To address an eye injury or tumor, the patient may also have to undergo “enucleation” or “evisceration.”
- Enucleation: Involves the removal of the entire eye
- Evisceration: Involves the removal of the contents of the eye
Enucleation entails the removal of the full eyeball while evisceration allows the eye muscles as well as the white portion of the eye to remain intact.
Either procedure may be required for pain management due to a blind eye, tumor or infection treatment, or to enhance the appearance of a disfigured eye. Enucleation is frequently the best treatment option in case a tumor is present. In case of other eye issues, removal or evisceration may be suitable.
Eyelid reconstruction surgery recovery is more extensive in comparison to eyelid plastic surgery. In general, it will be necessary for the patient to wear an eye patch for at least the initial 24 hours. The recovery process may extend for up to two weeks until the swelling and bruising resolves. After that, the extent of the procedure will determine the time taken to recover fully.
Highly trained, judicious, and skilled eye surgeon Dr. Jennifer Hui receives patients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Coachella Valley, Riverside, Redlands, Yucaipa, Loma Linda, and nearby areas for eyelid reconstruction surgery for cancer.