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Before surgery


After surgery*

The incidence of skin cancer involving the skin around the eyelids is increasing in the United States.  The early recognition and proper treatment of eyelid skin cancer is critical for ocular health.  Basal cell carcinoma is by far the most prevalent cancer involving the eyelids.  A lifetime of sun exposure is usually the underlying cause of this malignancy.  Although much less prevalent, squamous cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, and adenocarcinoma may also involve the eyelids.

Eyelid skin cancers are great imitators.  They often masquerade as benign skin lesions, styes, or chalazions.  If a skin lesion is persistent, a biopsy may be necessary to establish the diagnosis of skin cancer.

The best treatment for skin cancer in the periocular region involves a team approach.  An oculoplastic surgeon will work with a Mohs dermatologist, who has special training in the removal of skin cancer while preserving as much normal tissue as possible.  Once the cancer is removed, the eyelid is repaired utilizing a variety of techniques.  The restoration of the eyelid form and function is the goal of the oculoplastic surgery.

Fortunately, most skin cancers on the eyelid are relatively small, and simple closure can often be performed.  Typically, the eyelid function is completely restored.  Other treatment modalities for periocular skin cancer include simple excision without using a Mohs surgeon, cryotherapy, or radiation therapy.  All these techniques have a higher incidence of cancer recurrence and may lead to more difficulty and radical surgery at a future date.

*While patient satisfaction with Dr. Long is high, we cannot guarantee the outcome of any surgical procedure. Individual results vary from patient to patient and it's important that you speak with Dr. Long to determine the best solution for you.