Eyelid and orbital tumours

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aware of small lumps, warts or “spots”
Exophthalmos is
sign of alarm of an orbital tumour
Eyelid tumours

What are eyelid and orbital tumours?

They are tumours that occur around the eyelid or in the orbit (the cavity where the eyeball is located).

Eyelid tumours are very common; they are mostly benign and can easily be treated without leaving a visible scar. A variety of malignant tumours also exist, which can affect the periocular region (around the eye).

Orbital tumours are rare. The majority are benign and develop slowly. Some malignant tumours can, however, appear suddenly and grow rapidly. In these cases, patients should visit an ophthalmologist as a matter of urgency, as immediate treatment may be required.

What causes them?

Some eyelid tumours are related to exposure to the sun and usually occur in people over the age of 40. Fair skin is a major risk factor. In the case of orbital tumours, many of them are congenital in origin.

How can they be prevented?

Preventative measures can only be taken for eyelid tumours, such as ensuring protection from the sun, especially for people with fair skin.

In other cases, it is difficult to take preventative action, but early diagnosis and treatment is important. In the most serious cases, early detection can be crucial to save the eye, vision and even the patient’s life.

People with nodules, warts, ulcerations or other irregularities in the eyelid area should have these lesions checked periodically.

If it changes shape, colour, consistency (bleeding, ulceration), clinical conditions (itching) or size, the patient should visit the ophthalmologist to have the lesion removed and examined for identification.

Eyelid tumours are very visible and often appear in the form of a nodule or ulcer. Patients sometimes play down the importance of small lumps, warts or "bumps", which may indicate the existence of a tumour.

In the case of orbital tumours, the patient may experience proptosis or exophthalmos (anterior displacement of the eyeball), pain, changes in ocular mobility, displacement of the eyeball or loss of vision caused by compression of the optic nerve by the tumour.

Malignant tumours can appear suddenly and grow rapidly without any previous symptoms.

Párpado con ptosis Patient with an angioma
Párpado después de la cirugía Patient after surgery

Treatment consists of removing the tumour through minimum incision surgery and, depending on the case, the application of chemotherapy or radiotherapy in coordination with an oncologist.

Eyelid tumours can lead to the removal of a significant part of the eyelid. That is why the oculoplastic surgeon has to apply reconstruction techniques to restore the eyelid’s appearance and function afterwards.

Malignant lesions can return to the same place or nearby, so it is advisable for patients to undergo periodic checks after surgery.

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