Eyelid Tumors

Eyelid tumors can be either benign (66%) or malignant (33%). Benign masses can styes, skin tags, viral infections, or cysts, among other possibilities. These can present anywhere on the upper or lower eyelids. The most common malignant eyelid tumors are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. These usually present on the lower eyelids and other sun-exposed parts of the face. Rarer malignant tumors include sebaceous cell carcinomas and melanomas.

Eyelid tumors can usually be biopsied in the office under local anesthesia with minimal risk. Often, smaller lesions can be excised completely at the same time. If the diagnosis is malignant, surgery is usually required to ensure that the entire tumor has been removed. This can be done either with frozen section analysis, or with Mohs micrographic surgery.

Eyelid reconstruction after tumor removal requires surgical precision to ensure that the eyelid functions normally after surgery. If reconstruction is not carefully performed, eyelid malposition (e.g. ectropion, entropion, eyelid retraction) may occur. Dr. Lee is highly trained as an ophthalmic plastic surgeon to treat with these difficult problems.


Photo of a basal cell carcinoma of the lower eyelid