Eyelid Reconstructive Surgery

Not all eyelid reconstructive surgery procedures are performed for cosmetic purposes. Some are performed for actual medical reasons, such as to improve eyelid function, correct a defect or deformity, remove a tumor or other abnormal growth, or repair an injury or wound. Depending on the condition requiring treatment, procedures may extend to underlying tear ducts, bone structure, and muscle.

In general, reconstructive eyelid surgery aims at restoring the eyelid to its normal condition and function. There are four major eyelid conditions that can be corrected by eyelid reconstructive surgery. They are…

  1. Entropion, a condition in which the eyelid turns inward, irritating the eyeball. Entropion is caused by the natural aging process, injury, and by some types of eye inflammation. The condition is corrected with a relatively simple and brief procedure usually performed under local anesthesia.
  2. Ectropion, a condition in which the eyelid pulls away from the eyeball and exposes the pink inner lining of the eyelid. The condition also causes irritation as well as tearing, redness, and infection. Ectropion is caused by aging, sun damage, burns, tumors, and previous eye surgery.
  3. Ptosis, a condition in which the eyelid droops and reduces the field of vision. Ptosis can be caused by injury to the muscles in the forehead and brow areas, muscle disorder, nerve disorder, or congenital defect. Also, skin may fold over the eyelid margin, obstructing vision.
  4. Skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma or squamous tumors, can be removed by eyelid reconstructive surgery. Eyelid skin cancers most often occur on the lower lid, but can occur anywhere near the eye. Obviously, such growths should be examined and treated as soon as advised, and a biopsy is usually taken to confirm the diagnosis. Early treatment can often be performed on an outpatient basis and minimize potential scarring. There are techniques available to remove and cure the cancer and secondarily reconstruct the area to give the optimal cosmetic result.