Surgical management of ocular surface squamous neoplasms: the experience from a cornea center

Cornea. 2000 May;19(3):278-83. doi: 10.1097/00003226-200005000-00004.


Purpose: To report the surgical outcomes of treatment for ocular surface squamous neoplasms.

Methods: Retrospective review of squamous neoplasms of the ocular surface managed at a cornea center over a 15-year period. Surgical treatment was divided into two methods. The procedure was identical within each group. One group of patients was treated with simple excision of the lesion. The second group of patients was treated with excision followed by focal cryotherapy to the involved limbus and/or conjunctival margin. Follow-up is reported.

Results: A total of 28 lesions were reviewed. Included were 20 primary tumors and 8 recurrent tumors referred following initial treatment at other centers. Histopathologic diagnoses included 1 actinic keratosis, 7 dysplasias, 18 carcinomas in situ, and 2 invasive squamous cell carcinomas. The rate of recurrence for primary tumors was 28.5% with simple excision and 7.7% for excision combined with cryotherapy (p = 0.27). The rate of recurrence for recurrent tumors was higher: 16.6% for tumors treated with excision and cryotherapy and 50% (one in two) for lesions treated with simple excision (p = 0.46).

Conclusion: Simple excision of ocular surface squamous neoplasms appears to result in a higher recurrence rate when compared to excision with adjunctive cryotherapy. Judicious cryotherapy to the involved limbus and conjunctival margins results in recurrence rates comparable with other, more extensive cryotherapy procedures. This technique of cryotherapy has very few adverse effects on the eye.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma in Situ / surgery*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Corneal Diseases / surgery*
  • Cryotherapy
  • Eye Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome