About Skin Cancer
Because the eyelid skin is the thinnest on the body, it is the first area of the face to show signs of aging. Unfortunately, sun damage and other environmental factors cannot only take a toll on the appearance of the skin, but they can also lead to serious damage.
Skin cancer usually appears on the face or eyelids in the form of painless elevations or nodules. Although eyelid skin cancers may be found anywhere on the eyelids and result in distorted or missing eyelashes, these cancers occur most often on the lower eyelids. Bleeding, crusting, color changes, or distortion of the normal skin structure may also be apparent. Such findings need to be evaluated and may require a biopsy to diagnose whether it is skin cancer.
If it is, you will need a skilled plastic surgeon who is experienced in skin cancer surgery – tumor removal on the face and tumor removal on the eyelid. That’s where we come in…
Types of Skin Cancer
The most common types of skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Because these cancers grow slowly over months and years, there is an excellent chance that prompt treatment can result in complete removal of the tumor with only a minimal amount of affected surrounding tissue required to be excised.
Sebaceous gland carcinoma and malignant melanoma are more serious forms of skin cancer because they may spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body more quickly. These types of skin cancer require prompt, aggressive treatment because of the threat of early metastasis.
"I cannot say enough positive things about Dr. Cole and his wonderful staff. I was referred for an eye issue and from day 1, I was treated with kind and compassionate care. Everything he was going to do during surgery was explained throughly and there were no unanswered questions. From my first visit to my post op visit, I received the best care. Julia called a couple of times after surgery to follow up and make sure I was comfortable. I more than highly recommend Oculus plastic surgery over and over again!"- E.P. / Google / Mar 30, 2022
"I absolutely Love Oculus. Dr Chip was very professional and yet very easy to talk with. My eye lid surgery was performed and successful. And, the staff there are very accommodating in every way. Just a good and trustworthy surgery place."- B.M. / Google / Mar 22, 2022
"Great experience all the way around! Staff and Dr. Cole are amazing, caring and knowledgeable. I highly recommend them."- T.L. / Google / Mar 17, 2022
"From the initial consultation speaking with Julia, I KNEW I’d chosen the BEST place. She was very patient, knowledgeable and held my hand all the way up to my visit with Dr. Cole and Jenny, his warm smile and suggestions made me confident that I scheduled my appointment for surgery before leaving the office. I had a cheek lift and blepharoplasty on December 22, they were so comforting, and occasional follow ups between visits made my recovery even more satisfactory. The picture in the black was taken December 14, 2020 and the picture in the white was taken February 20, 2022. Talking about AHHMAZING results and reversing the time. Julia, Jenny and Dr. Cole are an exceptional DREAM TEAM!"- K.R. / Google / Feb 21, 2022
"Every one at this practice is wonderful. They listen to you and are really helpful about your concerns with your surgery. Dr. Cole is a great doctor."- E.M. / Google / Jan 21, 2022
The two very important principles in the management of eyelid skin cancers are 1) excising the entire malignancy and 2) reconstruction. Complete removal of the tumor is critical to minimize the possibility of recurrences, which are more difficult to manage.
Dr. Cole may remove the tumor and have a pathologist check the tissue margins (frozen section) to be sure the tumor has been completely removed. In another method, a dermatological surgeon excises the tumor in a special way (Mohs technique) to ensure total removal.
Once the tumor has been completely removed, the wound can occasionally heal on its own through a process called granulation. More commonly, however, reconstructive surgery is needed to make a new eyelid or repair the defect.
Many excellent microsurgical techniques are available to reconstruct almost any surgical defect that is present following the removal of a tumor. Regardless of the technique, the goal remains the same: to reconstruct the eyelid so that it functions properly, protects the eye, preserves vision, and has a satisfactory cosmetic appearance.
After surgery, the healing process may take anywhere from 4 to 12 months. Once the wound has healed, follow-up should be done with Dr. Cole and a dermatologist, if needed, to be sure the skin cancer does not recur. Should a new cancer develop, it can then be detected early and treated promptly.