Valve Tumors and Surgical Treatment

Eyelid tumors can be small lesions that cause cosmetic problems, inflammatory diseases that cause swelling and redness, as well as life-threatening malignant tumors that can spread throughout the body and result in death. The time of formation, shape, color and clinical findings of these lesions give clues that this tumor will show a benign or malignant course. The ophthalmologist makes the clinical diagnosis within these findings or determines the treatment path by taking a partial (incisional) biopsy from the lesion or removing the entire tumor (excisional) for definitive pathological diagnosis. In addition to the functional role of the eyelids, such as protecting the eye, they have cosmetic functions because they are the first place on the face. Often some intact lid tissue is also removed to safely, non-recurrently remove lid tumors. Therefore, these functional and cosmetic functions of the valves must be restored after the tumor is safely removed. For this, it is necessary to create a lid that can be opened and closed to protect the eye on the upper lid and does not sag downwards on the lower lid. For this, there are various repair techniques used according to the size of the tumor taken in oculoplastic surgery. During this reconstruction, the patient’s own skin, adipose tissue, palate tissue, ear cartilage or skin, other intact eyelid tissue, amniotic membranes prepared from the mother who gave birth, and intraoral tissue can be used. Recovery after valve repair takes about 2-3 weeks. A successful post-surgical follow-up is important in cases with malignant pathological diagnosis.

Dr. The 3 most frequently asked questions to Onur Konuk about valve tumors and surgical treatment:

1. There is a lesion in the eyelash area on my lid, will my eyelashes fall out when it is removed?

If the tumor is benign, it is possible to remove it from the eyelashes with special surgical tips without touching the eyelashes. However, if the tumor is malignant, the intact ciliated lid margin is also removed to prevent recurrence. During the repair, the ciliated edge is created with appropriate cosmetic techniques and lash loss is not noticed.

2. How does the size of the tumor affect the surgical treatment?

As in all types of cancer, the smaller the tumor is treated, the less successful the treatment, the amount of tissue to be sacrificed during treatment, and the need for additional treatment after surgery. It should not be forgotten that loss of vision up to the removal of the eye after the spread of lid tumors to the eye and orbital cavity, or loss of life as a result of the tumor spreading to the internal organs is still quite common in Turkey. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment are important in tumor treatment.

3. Is there a non-surgical treatment for valve tumors?

When lid tumors are caught in the early period, freezing (cryo) therapy, radiation therapy or treatment with some special creams may be considered. However, these treatment options should be performed in accordance with the recommendations of the oculoplasty surgeon in limited cases.