Expert Eyelid Reconstruction Surgery: All of Your Questions Answered

There are several reasons why you might require eyelid reconstruction surgery. The main two are trauma to the area or a tumor excision. Sometimes repairing and reconstructing the eyelid is the only option. And because the surgery is so complex, it requires an expert surgeon. 

Dr. Mark Baskin is a board-certified ophthalmologist and ophthalmic plastic surgeon in Encino, California, in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, and has performed many of these difficult surgeries.

Eyelid cancer probably means eyelid reconstruction surgery

It may be stating the obvious, but wearing sunglasses is vital for cancer and melanoma prevention. But sometimes, even if you take the proper precautions, you can still get ill. 

Because the eyelid skin is so thin and sensitive, it’s easily susceptible to sun damage, and is one of the more common areas for skin cancer. This cancer is usually found in the lower eyelid. Symptoms may include:

If you have any of these symptoms or concerns about this area in general, we encourage you to come in to see Dr. Baskin as soon as possible for an exam. The exam is carried out under a bright light using high magnification. The only way to know for sure if the area of concern is cancerous is for Dr. Baskin to remove a small tissue sample and have it biopsied.

If the biopsy shows no cancer, the issue may go away on its own with treatments and ointments. But if it’s cancerous, the symptoms may get worse and the lesions change and grow. Early detection is important: Some of the cancers can spread into the bones and sinuses. 

If surgical excision is required, reconstruction is as well. And when a tumor is involved, it’s ideal to do both surgeries at the same time, for both functional and cosmetic purposes. 

Is eyelid reconstruction surgery different than an eyelid lift?

Yes, it’s usually different. An eyelid lift can be for medical purposes, and can help correct blocks in vision and other issues. But it’s more often cosmetic, to address aging, drooping, and sagging eyelids. Depending on the complexity, it may be performed as an outpatient procedure, or it may require an overnight stay in a hospital.

Eyelid reconstruction involves muscle and tissues and may also involve a graft. There are several techniques for eyelid reconstruction surgery, and Dr. Baskin decides how to approach your procedure based on your specific situation.

The basic steps of eyelid reconstruction surgery

Dr. Baskin determines if it’s best for you to have intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Regardless of the procedure — it partly depends on whether the upper or lower eyelid is being operated on — an incision is made so Dr. Baskin can move fat deposits, remove excess skin and maybe tighten muscles. The eyelid incisions are usually closed with skin glue or sutures, which are removed within a week. 

During surgery, Dr. Baskin may use lubricating ointment or cold compresses. And sometimes, he sends you home with gauze loosely covering your eyes. You, or ideally the person taking you home, are given all the specific instructions on how to take care of yourself and what, if any, medication you should take. 

While most patients should feel comfortable to be seen in public within 10-14 days, and to resume normal activities, it could take a few months for a full healing. You just want to make sure you take care of the area and protect it during that time. We make sure you have all the post-surgery information you need.

Don’t hesitate to call us if you have any more questions about eyelid reconstruction surgery or to set up an appointment, or you can always book online right here

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