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Number of excisions required to obtain clear surgical margins and prognostic value of AJCC T category for patients with eyelid melanoma


Aims To determine the number of excisions needed to achieve clear margins and the prognostic value of the 7th edition of American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) classification for eyelid melanoma.

Methods Retrospective chart review of consecutive patients treated for eyelid melanoma from January 2006 through May 2013 by the senior author at a tertiary care cancer centre.

Results Of the 64 patients (25 men and 39 women), clear surgical margins were achieved with a single excision in 38 patients (62%), 2 excisions in 21 patients (34%), and 3 excisions in 2 patients (3%). Need for repeat excision was not correlated with the size of the surgical margin (p=0.14) or AJCC TNM classification (p=0.15). Nodal disease at presentation was significantly associated with T category greater than T2b (p=0.0026) and shorter time to disease progression (p=0.007). Patients followed for a minimum of 1 year with T category greater than T2b had a significantly higher risk of nodal or distant metastasis (p=0.0061).

Conclusions More than a third of patients with eyelid melanoma required more than 1 excision to achieve clear margins, supporting delayed reconstruction for eyelid melanoma. Nodal metastasis at presentation was significantly correlated with AJCC T category and time to progression.

  • melanoma
  • AJCC

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