Eyelid margin basal cell carcinoma managed with full-thickness en-face frozen section histopathology

Harmeet S Gill, Eve E Moscato, Stuart R Seiff
Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2014, 30 (1): 15-9

PURPOSE: To determine the tumor control rate of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the eyelid margin managed by full-thickness eyelid resection with en-face frozen section-controlled margins and primary reconstruction of the defect.

METHODS: This is a retrospective, consecutive, noncomparative, longitudinal interventional case series from a single institution. A review of medical records of all patients with BCC involving the eyelid margin treated by full-thickness en-face frozen section histopathology between June 1997 and June 2011 was conducted. All cases were managed with gross full-thickness resection of the eyelid margin tumor with subsequent reconstruction. Intraoperative frozen section histopathology was performed on additional 1-mm thick medial, lateral, and inferior/superior specimens in a full-thickness en-face fashion. The main outcome measure was rate of recurrence over the follow-up period. Additional data collected included patient demographics, lesion site and size, histopathology, reconstructive technique, and postoperative complications.

RESULTS: The review resulted in a total of 74 patients with 77 lesions. Of these, 45 lesions had a minimum 5-year follow up. Those cases that involved the lacrimal system were excluded resulting in a total of 43 cases for analysis, which had a mean follow up of 6.4 years (range, 5.0-13.0). Three cases (6.9%) represented a recurrent BCC, while all other cases were primary BCCs. The histopathological subtypes included nodular (65.1%), infiltrative (18.6%), and superficial (16.3%). There were no cases of recurrence (100% cure rate) over the follow-up period. Most defects (88.4%) were reconstructed by direct closure or a temporal rotation flap. The only complication noted was the development of a hypertrophic scar in 1 patient that resolved with conservative management. In the total series of 77 lesions, the mean follow-up period was 4.5 years (range, 0.5-13.0). One recurrence (1.3%) was detected after 1.1 years for an infiltrative BCC measuring 10.0 mm in diameter that involved the lacrimal system.

CONCLUSIONS: Eyelid margin BCC can be managed effectively with full-thickness en-face frozen section-controlled excision and primary reconstruction of the defect. The high cure rate compares favorably with other excision techniques such as Mohs micrographic surgery, with the advantages of a single operation and excellent reconstructive result.

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