Eyelid basal cell carcinoma: non-Mohs excision, repair, and outcome.Br J Ophthalmol. 2005 Aug; 89(8):992-4.BJ
To analyse the outcome of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) excision in a subregional (non-Mohs) oculoplastic service.
A single surgeon retrospective series, medical record review of 223 consecutive cases with histologically confirmed eyelid BCC (between 1987 and 2004). Tumour recurrence rate was derived from the 69 patients with a minimum 5 year follow up.
Of the total 223 patients, the surviving 162 were included in this study. The follow up for the whole cohort ranged from 2 months to 120 months. All cases underwent excisional biopsy. 4 mm excision margins were taken in 83% of cases. The pathology revealed 84% complete primary excision. Of those reported incompletely excised 53% contained no tumour at re-excision. 70% of lid defects were treated by primary direct closure. Following confirmed histological clearance the remainder underwent delayed direct closure (2%), full thickness skin or tarsal grafts (13%), local skin and muscle flaps (11%), and spontaneous granulation (laissez faire) (4%). No major complications were noted. There were no recurrences for non-infiltrative BCCs. The overall 5 year and over recurrence rate including previously recurrent BCCs was 4.35%, only one of which was in the primary BCC group (1.6%). All recurrences were in infiltrative BCCs.
Non-infiltrative BCC excision with 4 mm margins gave a zero recurrence rate. Long term follow up of such patients may be unnecessary. Infiltrative BCCs should be followed up indefinitely. Previous recurrence and infiltrative histology have predictive value for recurrence. We achieved one of the lowest recurrence rates reported in non-Mohs surgical excision. Direct closure was applicable in 72% of cases.