Lower Eyelid Reconstruction After Ablation of Skin Malignancies: How Far Can We Get in a Single-Stage Procedure?

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Abstract

Reconstruction of full-thickness lower eyelid defects tends to be a devastating procedure, especially when big amount of tissue has to be removed because of oncological reasons. The applied techniques are mostly difficult to execute and multistaged, often require extensive dissection, and result in scarring and facial disfigurement.

The aim of the present study is to demonstrate the authors’ experience in single-staged reconstructions of full-thickness defects of the lower eyelid with local tissue only.

Material and Methods:

A retrospective analysis was conducted identifying patients with postexcisional defects after skin cancer occurring in the lower eyelid, reconstructed in 1 stage. Appropriate demographic, pathological, preoperative, and postoperative clinical data and photo documentation were collected and analyzed.

Results:

After excluding patients with partial thickness defects (n=5), a total of 13 patients with lower eyelid full-thickness defects were studied, including 9 women and 4 men with mean age 66.5 years (age range 53–79 years). The most common malignancy was basal cell carcinoma (n = 11). In one of the patients 2 synchronous neoplasms were excised simultaneously from the same lower eyelid. The reconstruction was successfully performed in 1 stage in all the patients by recruiting the same eyelid tissue and/or temporal tissue. No additional surgery was needed at a minimal follow-up of 9 months.

Conclusion:

Local tissue flaps have proven to be a reliable option for a single-stage reconstruction of large full-thickness defects. Tenzel flap technique seems to be a reliable option for repair of defects as large as 60% of the total eyelid length.

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