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Skin Cancer Reconstruction

What is Skin Cancer Reconstruction?


Skin cancer is a fairly common condition, particularly in Caucasian individuals with a history of sun exposure. Living in beautiful sunny South Carolina is wonderful but with that sun comes a high incidence of skin cancer. Sun protection with sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, or covering oneself is your first line of defense to minimize the risk of developing skin cancer. 

For those individuals who have a significant history of sun exposure, skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body including the eyelid. Dr. Patel will often work with specialist surgeons in the field of dermatology known as a Mohs surgeon who have expertise in removing these lesions. After the Mohs surgeon removes the skin cancer, Dr. Patel can then repair the defect with various techniques. The goal is to achieve optimal cosmesis while maintaining form and function of the eyelid to protect the eye.


The technique used to repair the defect after Mohs excision of a skin cancer depends on how large the defect is and what structures are involved. Sometimes it only takes moving some skin around to get the wound closed while in other situations, a combination of flaps and/or grafts are necessary to reconstruct the eyelid. Dr. Patel will customize the treatment plan to you after evaluating the defect.


In general, there should be minimal pain after the surgery. There will be some bruising and swelling that can take 2-3 weeks to mostly resolve. However, the eyelid reconstruction will continue to heal with scar appearance, erythema of the incision, and thickening of the tissues improving over the course of months. These procedures do require some patience as the healing process is longer than is with other eyelid procedures.

Why choose Dr. Patel?

Dr. Patel has performed numerous reconstructive surgeries for patients that had skin cancer removed in the eyelid area. The goal of reconstructive surgery is to balance form and function with optimal aesthetic outcome. As an oculofacial surgeon, Dr. Patel is well-trained to ensure a result that protects the health of the eye while achieving as ideal a cosmetic result as possible.