Eyelid skin cancer is a very common skin cancer that we see in Australia. Approximately 5-10% of all skin cancers occur in the eyelid
The most common type of skin cancer is Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), followed by Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Sebaceous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma.
Eyelid skin cancer can present in more than many ways and early skin cancers can be very subtle. Unlike other parts of the face where skin cancer has typical appearances, in the eyelid they present in many atypical ways as well. Hence it is important to confirm the diagnosis of each and every lesion on the eyelid. Eyelid cancer can present in the following ways a small lump, a bleeding ulcer, a small red patch, loss of eyelashes, minor skin changes and scarring of the skin, swelling of the skin, thickening of the skin.
A biopsy is the best way to confirm the diagnosis of a skin cancer.
Don’t delay your treatment. The quicker you remove an eyelid cancer the smaller the defect that needs to be reconstructed. With a smaller defect to reconstruct, the treatment is successful, and the function and aesthetics of the eyelid can be maintained.
The main reason for recurrence is incomplete removal of the tumour. So, it is important to get it right at the start by an experienced Plastic Surgeon.
The lesion will be sent away for histology testings. This way we can ensure that the cancer has been completely removed and nothing has been left behind. This is not only reassuring to the patient but also to the surgeon. If the results return as incomplete you will need an additional procedure.
The eyelid reconstruction surgery can take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on the complexity. The surgery is performed in a hospital under anaesthetic for your safety and comfort.
You will generally see Dr Somia 2 times before your surgery. If you prefer one of these consultations can be held via telehealth. Two consultations are required by law before a date for surgery is scheduled. This is to allow you plenty of time to ask questions and feel comfortable about the procedure.
The surgery takes approximately 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours depending on the procedure recommended and requires an overnight stay in hospital. Our fees include specialist plastic surgeon, specialist anaesthetist, fully accredited hospital theatre, accommodation and 6 months aftercare. A formal estimate will be provided after you have discussed your goals and what is possible to achieve them with Dr Somia.
Each patient recovers at a different rate and anothers recovery should not be compared with yours.
Generally, initial recovery approximately 1 week. A return to normal activities can usually be expected after your sutures are removed. Scars generally mature between 6 and 12 months.
You can return to work when you feel well. Most patients take a few days off work if they work in an office context. Patients working outdoors or in a physical capacity may need to take additional time off. Talk to us about your specific occupation and surgery.
You can drive when the anaesthetic has worn off, your vision is clear, and you are pain free getting in and out of the care and whilst performing an emergency stop. You should check your vehicle insurance policy for their requirements in this situation.
All surgery carries risks. When travelling overseas on a plane whilst the expectation is a safe journey and arrival, it is understood things could go wrong. The choice of the airline based on safety record and flight path are important elements in determining risk. Similarly, for your surgery, the experience and expertise of your Surgeon, the skill of your anaesthetist and the standard of the hospital will determine the risk. Risks, both general and specific, will be discussed during your consultations and written information will be provided for you to take home.
General risks include pneumonia, deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack, allergies, awareness, death, bleeding, infection, sensation change, haematoma and seroma, skin contour irregularities, damage to deeper structures, firmness, delayed healing and tissue death, exposed sutures, dog ears or additional skin golds, dressing issues, asymmetry, scars, lymphoedema and unsatisfactory results.
Risks specific to Eyelid Skin Cancer surgery are: injury to the eye globe, need for extra tissue, loss of vision, changes to tear secretion, conjunctival oedema and chemosis, exposed sutures, upper eyelid malposition, difficulty closing the upper eyelid and corneal exposure, lower eyelid malposition and eyelash loss.
BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOGRAPHY