Eyelid lesions (eyelid lumps and bumps) are very common and can be benign or malignant (cancerous). Clinical examination and/or biopsy are required for the definitive diagnosis as to whether they are benign or malignant.
Most small lumps and bumps around the eyelids are benign and can be easily removed in their entirety. However, even a benign looking lump can be a tumor masquerading as benign and the cells must be analyzed under the microscope to exclude a malignant tumor (histopathological analysis).
The treatment of eyelid lesions depends on the diagnosis which is obtained by biopsy. Benign eyelid lesions can be excised in full and reconstruction performed using direct closure, flaps or grafts.
Malignant tumors may require additional treatment with either radiotherapy or chemotherapy after excision, depending on their diagnosis.
Removing or taking a biopsy of eyelid lumps and bumps can frequently be done under local anesthetic. The result of the histological analysis (examination of the cells) is usually available within a week if deemed necessary by the surgeon.
Selecting the right surgeon for eyelid lesion removal is very important. When taking a lesion off one of the most delicate areas of your entire body that also has one of the most intricate anatomy, the pool of surgeons qualified to perform such a procedure shrinks dramatically.
When dealing with any problem near the eye, you need to see a physician trained as an ophthalmologist. Many doctors are not comfortable working in that area because of the specialized anatomy and will refer you to an ophthalmologist anyway. Additionally, because this is an extraocular procedure (outside of the eye) as opposed to an intraocular procedure (inside of the eye), the best choice for eyelid lesion removal is an oculoplastic surgeon (also known as an ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgeon).
A well trained oculoplastic surgeon can combine their knowledge of the eye with the artistic expertise of a plastic surgeon. You need a doctor that can ensure that the procedure is done correctly, but also won’t leave a scar near your eyes that is unsightly or affects eyelid function. Dr. Liu is an oculoplastic surgeon and has completed an ASOPRS fellowship, making her one of the most highly qualified oculoplastic surgeons in North America.
Eyelid lesion removal is typically performed using only local anesthesia in Dr. Liu’s procedure room. In some cases the surgery may be performed at an off-site surgery center for additional sedation, but only in very rare cases would general anesthesia be used.
There are several techniques that Dr. Liu uses for eyelid lesion removal, depending on the type of lesion, size of lesion, and where it is on your eyelid. Because Dr. Liu has such specialized training, she has access to a number of techniques that are not utilized by most other doctors, and she will customize these techniques for you to get the best outcome. Smaller lesions may be shaved off or removed with microsurgical scissors and may not require sutures after removal. For larger lesions that do require sutures, Dr. Liu typically tries to hide the incision and uses dissolving sutures that do not need to be removed in the office.
Eyelid lesion removal typically takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour from start to finish.
Eyelid lesion removal may have some mild scarring in the area of the lesion, but it is typically not noticeable. Non-specialized surgeons typically have results with more visible scarring.
Eyelid procedures are generally very safe. When considering any eyelid procedure, it is important to inform your surgeon of any abnormalities of your eyes, vision, or your general medical health. It is important to remember that all procedures carry some risks, even when performed by the most highly trained surgeon and at the best facilities. Below are some of the more common risks associated with eyelid procedures:
The likelihood of serious complications arising from the procedure is typically influenced by both the surgeon’s skill as well as the patient’s individual response to the eyelid procedure. Certain severe risks or complications can be avoided by cooperating fully and completely following your surgeon’s instructions. With patience, a willingness to cooperate, and a qualified surgeon, the complications of an eyelid procedure and any associated risks can be dramatically reduced.