To reduce the risk of recurrence and malignant transformation, pleomorphic adenomas of the lacrimal gland should be removed intact, without prior biopsy. Seventy one of the 78 patients in this series were referred without previous surgery, and, on clinical or radiological evidence, 63 (89%) tumours were correctly diagnosed and totally excised, with preservation of a margin of the surrounding normal tissue. Sixty three patients had tumour within the body of the gland and 55 (84%) had radiological signs or satisfied clinical criteria for pleomorphic adenoma that we suggested previously; that is, over 1 year of symptoms and absence of pain. Eight (16%) orbital lobe tumours were misdiagnosed preoperatively and biopsied; in all these patients symptoms had been present for less than 1 year, and four patients had pain. Eight patients with tumours arising in the palpebral lobe had a short history of an upper lid mass, and their tumours were excised without biopsy. With the surgical techniques described in this paper, there has been no recurrence of tumour in patients with follow-up as long as 21 years. A modification of surgical technique, with preservation of the palpebral lobe of the gland, has reduced the incidence of postoperative dry eye and distortion of the upper eyelid.
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