Eyelid tumors are growths on the eyelids, and their cause are not well understood. While most eyelid tumors are benign and non-cancerous, it is possible to have a malignant cancerous growth. It is difficult to distinguish between the two types of eyelid tumors without removing the growth and having it examined under a microscope.
Eyelid tumors that grow on the inner aspect of the eyelid may rub against the eyeball, causing pain and damage to they eye. Some tumors become raw and infected if a pet keeps scratching at it. Eyelid tumors may grow near or in the tear ducts and block tear flow. They may cause your pet discomfort, and be detrimental to your pet’s vision.
All eyelid tumors should be removed. Eyelid tumors may grow so much that a large section of eyelid tissue must be removed to help ensure that the entire tumor is eliminated. In those cases, eyelid reconstruction must be done to retain proper eyelid function. Removal of the tumor in the early stages of growth often avoids the need for such extensive surgery and lessens the overall risks to your pet.
Such factors as number, location, size of the growths, and age and general health of your pet are considered in deciding whether to do laser surgery. Laser surgery is safe and effective, and reduces or eliminates bleeding, swelling, and pain. Most growth removals can be done as out-patient or same day surgery, without an overnight stay. In order to minimize discomfort to your pet, all eyelid tumor removal is done under a general gas anesthesia, and are sent home with pain management medication.
After laser surgery you’ll need to check the surgical site at least once daily, and report any abnormalities to the Veterinarian. We require that all patients who have undergone a laser surgery procedure schedule and appear for a follow-up examination within at least 14 days from the date of discharge, just to ensure that your pet is healing properly, and so that we can address all your concerns in a timely manner. Your pet will also need to wear an Elizabethan Collar (cone) to prevent them from scratching or rubbing at the surgical site while it heals.
A very small percentage of laser surgery treated eyelid growths will require a second treatment in 6 to 12 months after the initial surgery. Although every effort is made to remove the entire growth during the first surgery, re-growth can occur. When re-growth occurs you will notice that instead of a flat scar, an elevated, usually smooth, bump that protrudes from the laser surgery site. If you notice this, or any other lumps and bumps on your pet, please schedule an examination appointment as soon as possible.