Facial skin cancer can affect the skin on your face, including places like your eyelids. It develops when cells in the skin mutate at the genetic level and multiply rapidly. These cancer cells don't die off like normal cells; instead, they build up to form lesions and tumors.
Three types of skin cancer are likely to affect your face:
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common facial skin cancer. It develops in the basal layer of skin just under your epidermis (surface skin).
Squamous cell carcinoma develops in the surface skin cells. It's less common than basal cell carcinoma, accounting for around 20% of skin cancers.
Malignant melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Without prompt treatment, it can spread to other tissues and could be life-threatening.
Typically, treatment for skin cancer involves surgically removing the lesion and any affected tissues. First, your provider obtains a biopsy (a sample of the suspicious skin lesion) to identify whether you have skin cancer and, if so, the type.
If your biopsy confirms skin cancer, the next step is to remove the lesion, which on the face is likely to be done using the Mohs technique. This method of surgery involves removing slices of tissue and examining them under a microscope each time to look for skin cancer cells.
Your provider repeats this process until there are no skin cancer cells left. Mohs surgery is the best technique for minimizing scarring, which is particularly important on your face.
Facial skin cancer reconstruction is surgery that you might require after treatment for skin cancer on your face. Your provider typically performs facial skin cancer reconstruction on the same day as your Mohs surgery or sometimes the following day.
The team at New York Eye and Face Oculoplastic Surgery, specializes in performing eyelid reconstruction surgery. There are several ways to reconstruct your eyelids, but your provider won't decide on the specific reconstruction plan until after your skin cancer removal surgery.
Once they know the final defect size and location, your surgeon uses their expertise to create a plan that restores both function and form to your eyelids. Eyelid reconstruction surgery may involve:
Eyelid reconstruction surgery is an outpatient procedure for which you need a local anesthetic and IV sedation. You can go home on the same day.
If you have facial skin cancer, the team at New York Eye and Face Oculoplastic Surgery has specialized skills to reconstruct complex and delicate areas of your face. Call their office to find out more or book an appointment online today.