Two stage surgery for the removal of eyelid lumps

This is surgery which requires two operations.

What is a two-stage procedure?

This is surgery which requires two operations. During the first stage (operation) the suspicious lump is removed and sent for examination by a pathologist. The second stage (operation) is carried out once we know the lump has been completely removed. The aim of the second stage surgery is to repair the wound created during the first stage.

What to expect

Stage 1

The suspicious eyelid lump is removed under local anaesthetic and sent to the laboratory. The pathologist will confirm the diagnosis and that the lump has been completely removed. This takes several days. The eyelid wound is left open and a pad is used to shut the eye. Iodine dressings are typically used which can seep through the pad and appear as a brown stain. The pad should remain in place until you return to the eye department.

The local anaesthetic will sting for approximately 20 seconds after injection.

Stage 2

Once the diagnosis is confirmed and the lesion (lump) completely removed, the eyelid is repaired. This is typically carried out under general anaesthetic (asleep). The repair may involve a skin graft or skin flap. Skin used for a skin graft may be taken from the eyelids, in front of the ear or from the upper arm.  Once repaired the eye is again padded shut with iodine dressings. Overall the surgery may take an hour.

The eye pad is removed 1 week later in the eye clinic along with any sutures (stitches) which need to come out.

If you have any problems contact the eye department or your GP.

Post-operative care

Where the wound has been repaired with a skin graft or skin flap care will need to be taken. Approximately 3 weeks after surgery the skin graft/flap should be firmly massaged using a lubricant, such as Vaseline, 3 times a day for about 1 minute. This should continue for 3 to 6 months. The massaging is to prevent scarring and thickening of the graft.

You will be followed up regularly in the clinic.

Risks and complications

  • Graft failure
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Recurrence of the skin lesion (lump)

For further information about the surgery please speak to your doctor or contact:

Clinic 8 on telephone 01522 307180

Ophthalmology Department

Lincoln County Hospital