Cancer. It can be one of the scariest words someone can hear in their life. It claims millions of lives a year, and the journey to fight it is no walk in the park. Fortunately, medical research and technology have come a long way in how to treat different types of cancer. Hearing that you have cancer on your eyelid might seem like one of the most frightening places for it to be. Questions begin to surface like: what’s going to happen to my eye? Will my skin look the same? How can they remove that?
In this blog, we’ll discuss the kinds of treatments that are available to you to treat eyelid cancer and ways that you can get the full function and beauty of your eyelid back with MOHS surgery and eyelid reconstruction with board-certified eyelid and facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Malena M. Amato in Austin, TX.
A Bit More About Skin and Eyelid Cancer
Skin and eyelid cancer is extremely common in many races and ethnicities, but especially amongst Caucasians and patients who are often exposed to the sun for long periods of time. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of eyelid skin cancer. Other eyelid skin cancers include Squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and less commonly seen, sebaceous cell carcinoma or Merkel cell carcinoma.
Eyelid skin cancer most frequently is found on the lower eyelid, and usually starts as painless elevations or nodules on the skin. Loss of eyelashes and distortion of the eyelid margin are common signs these nodules could be cancerous and should be evaluated by a doctor early on to avoid large excisions to remove the cancer cells.
Treatment Options for Eyelid Cancer
The most common treatments for eyelid cancer are:
MOHS Surgery: The most common surgery type when it comes to eyelid cancer treatment is MOHS surgery. This technique involves removing the visible tumor and small fragments of the edge of where the tumor is located. Each small fragment is examined under a microscope until all the cancer is thoroughly removed. This procedure is most often used for large masses, tumors that are hard to reach, and for cancers that have returned to the same place. However, it is increasingly becoming the preferred method for removing eyelid cancer because of how effective it is.
Cryosurgery: Cryosurgery, also referred to as cryotherapy or cryoablation, uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and kill skin cancer cells. The skin will blister and shed off, effectively shedding away the cancerous cells as well. This procedure can sometimes leave a pale scar and patients may need more than one freezing procedure.
Reconstructive Surgery: Many patients who have undergone eyelid cancer treatment require reconstructive surgery. Reconstructive surgery differs from cosmetic surgery in that it is generally performed to improve eye function, although it may also be done for aesthetic purposes.
Reconstructive Eyelid Surgery with Dr. Malena Amato
Dr. Amato has often worked with MOHS cancer surgeons who have removed the eyelid skin cancer and need Dr. Amato’s expertise to reconstruct the eyelid to restore function and appearance. While the surgeon is removing the skin cancer from the eyelid, Dr. Amato will perform the reconstruction so that you can put the whole trouble behind you.
Learn More About Eyelid Cancer Treatments Today
If you suspect that you have eyelid cancer, the most important thing to do is schedule an appointment with a dermatologist or ophthalmologist to get your treatment started right away. Then discuss your options of having reconstructive surgery by calling Dr. Malena Amato at (512) 501-1010 or contact us through our website.