Tumours in the eyelids and eye socket can be ‘benign’ (having no tendency to spread elsewhere), pre-malignant (with the potential to become malignant) or malignant (having the ability to spread both locally and systemically), and can develop gradually over decades or emerge rapidly over days to weeks.
Symptoms of a tumour depend on its location, with eyelid tumours generally being visible and causing local skin or eyelid margin changes. Tumours of the lacrimal system are rare, and can present with watering (this symptom usually due to benign pathology), while orbital tumours can lead to ‘bulging’ of the eye, double vision, orbital inflammation, and reduced vision. Imaging with a CT scan is often necessary to help confirm the likely diagnosis.
Treatment of an eyelid tumour depends on its location, but typically involves complete excision followed by repair of the defect. However, modern medical therapies are becoming increasingly effective, and not all tumours require surgery.
Treatment of some eyelid tumours and all malignant orbital tumours require systemic review by an oncologist to exclude disease elsewhere (for example, lymphoma). Management of orbital disease usually requires a biopsy to obtain a ‘tissue diagnosis’ before orbital and systemic treatment can be planned.
Areas of expertise [DOWNLOAD LEAFLET]
- Surgery for eyelid skin tumours and eyelid reconstruction
- Tumours of the lacrimal sac
- Orbital tumours including lymphoma