Cryosurgery for malignancies of the eyelid

Ophthalmology. 1980 Jun;87(6):461-5. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(80)35207-x.


The results of liquid nitrogen spray technique for 310 biopsy-proven eyelid malignancies are reviewed. The raw recurrence rate for basal cell carcinomas of the eyelids with a mean follow-up of almost three years is 4.2%, while the recurrence rate is 6% in 49 cases followed for five years. For all lid malignancies 10 mm or less in diameter, a 2.0% raw recurrence rate was obtained; however, in those lesions larger than 10 mm, this rose to 9.5%. With this form of therapy, basal cell carcinomas with infiltrative, nonelevated, indistinct borders had twice the recurrence rate than those tumors with elevated distinct borders. Twenty-one squamous cell carcinomas treated with cryosurgery with an average follow-up 21.6 months have yet to show a recurrence. Complications with cryosurgery include permanent loss of eyelashes and depigmentation lasting from six months to over six years. Depending on the extent and location of the tumor, eyelid defects occurred. To date, five plastic reconstructive procedures have been required for ectropion or lid defects; however, no lacrimal outflow surgery has as yet been required.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / classification
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / surgery*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Cryosurgery*
  • Eyelid Neoplasms / classification
  • Eyelid Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Postoperative Complications