Eleven consecutive patients with tumours involving the lower eyelid margin were treated with margin-including full-thickness excision of the eyelid and suturing of bleeding vessels as the sole primary surgical procedure, needing less than 10 minutes. The resulting defects of 2/5 to 7/8 of the horizontal extent of the eyelid and varying in height from 4 to 7 mm were allowed to heal spontaneously. In all the 11 patients the wounds healed, without ocular or palpebral complications in about 6 weeks and underwent further cosmetic improvement for the ensuing 6--8 weeks. Cosmetic results were excellent in 8 patients with excisions of 2/5 to 1/2 of the eyelid. All procedures including the secondary reconstructions were carried out on day-case basis under local anaesthesia. Histology confirmed complete tumour clearance in all the patients. Apart from being the first report of a planned study of spontaneous repair of full-thickness surgical wounds of the lower eyelid this study shows that the conventional method of dressing such wounds can be replaced by the less expensive and convenient 'dressing' of a cartella shield with an improvised central hole.
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