Removal of Eyelid Skin Cancer


The eyelids get a lot of suns. This makes them susceptible to developing skin cancer. Eyelid skin cancers account for up to 10 percent of all skin cancers. Fortunately, most of them are non-melanoma forms of skin cancer, basal cell, and squamous cell carcinomas.

Dr. Levin works with numerous dermatologists who diagnose the skin cancer and then send the patient to Dr. Leven to remove the tumor and reconstruct the eyelid.

Most common types of eyelid cancer

About 90% of all eyelid cancers are the basal cell skin cancer variety. Basal cell carcinomas, like squamous cell carcinomas, are the result of the amount of sun exposure over time. While not nearly as dangerous as melanoma, basil cell carcinomas still need to be removed as they continue to grow and begin to impact the function of the eyelid.

• Basal cell carcinoma— Under the squamous cells in the lower epidermis are round cells known as basal cells. Overall, around 80% of skin cancers come from this layer in the skin. Basal cell carcinomas usually appear in the lower lid and most often in people with fair skin.

• Squamous cell carcinoma— The top layer of the epidermis consists of mainly squamous cells, and up to one-third of skin cancers form in this part of the skin. Although less common than basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma grows more aggressively and can spread more easily to nearby tissues. Squamous cell carcinomas are rare on the eyelids.

Surgery to remove eyelid cancer

Eyelid skin cancer usually occurs on the lower eyelid, but it can be found elsewhere. If possible, Dr. Levin prefers to use Mohs’ surgery to remove the tumor. This surgical method has the advantage of removing the least amount of tissue, a critical element in an area such as the eyelids.

In Mohs’ surgery, the visible tumor is removed along with a small area around the tumor. Then, with the patient still under anesthesia, the tissue taken is examined under a microscope, with particular attention paid to the margins. If the margins are clear of any cancer cells, the procedure is completed. If additional cancerous cells are found in the margins, additional tissue is removed until the margins are clear.

Mohs’ surgery for eyelid cancer has a very high success rate, with five-year cure rates of up to 99 percent. Plus, it has the advantage of taking only the smallest amount of skin beyond the tumor.


Reconstruction of the eyelid after removal of the skin cancer can be straightforward or very challenging, depending on the individual situation. Dr. Levin’s options are usually dictated by the size of the tumor is removed. The complexity of the reconstruction is unique to every procedure, but the main goal is to fully restore the function of the eyelid, brow, and corresponding facial tissue and muscle.

If your dermatologist has found a skin cancer on your eyelid, have the doctor refer you to Dr. Levin for the surgery and reconstruction. Her expertise in this area is second to none. Call 203-557-6464 if you have any questions about eyelid cancer, or if you need to make an appointment.

Blepharoplasty Westport, CT

What you need to know about eyelid surgery

Blepharoplasty Westport, CTEyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is performed to remove extra skin and fat deposits in the lower and upper lid. It is more common after the age of 35, but some elect to get the surgery earlier if they have a genetic disposition to drooping eyelids. Here are four factors to consider if you are exploring the idea of getting eyelid surgery.

Eyelid surgery can give you a more youthful appearance

Often, skin bulging or wrinkles on or near the eyelids make a face appear to droop. During eyelid surgery, delicate incisions are made to remove this excess fat and skin. The result is a more youthful and refined appearance.

You need to be healthy to get eyelid surgery

If you are thinking about eyelid surgery, you need to be in general good health to be considered. The healthier you are, complications are less likely, and the healing process will proceed more smoothly. Eyelid surgery can give you a smoother and more energetic appearance. However, consider if your expectations are in line with what the eyelid surgery can realistically deliver. Schedule a consultation with your doctor to discuss your goals and voice your concerns.

You will see results soon

Within two to three weeks after surgery, you will see the dramatic difference that eyelid surgery makes to your look. Patience is important during those first few weeks as the incisions and bruising are allowed to heal.

Eyelid surgery is temporary (for the upper lid)

As we age, so do our eyelids. Even with eyelid surgery, your upper eyelid will eventually develop wrinkles and begin to sag again. This is completely normal and part of the aging process. Fortunately, the effects of eyelid surgery on the upper lid can last up to seven years. In contrast, surgery on the lower lids rarely needs any upkeep. Before your surgery, you will have a consultation with your doctor. During this time, be sure to discuss your goals with your physician. Be mindful of your expectations versus reality and if eyelid surgery is the best option for your needs.

To find out if eyelid surgery is right for your needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Flora Levin. You can reach our office at 203-557-6464.