The eyelids function to protect the eyes from becoming too dry by facilitating tear film transfer across the cornea. There are several conditions that cause defects in the eyelids, such as trauma and removal of tumour growths. Most often, the localized wound heals within a week or 10 days. Sometimes, a few sutures are placed to close the wound and this can be done as an outpatient procedure. In some of the complex cases, the doctor may recommend transfer of adjacent tissue (flaps) or skin grafting to reconstruct the eyelids. Eyelid reconstruction usually involves geometric rearrangements of the neighbouring skin. The complete procedure requires more than one operation and is called staged reconstruction.
As with any surgery, eyelid reconstruction also involves certain risks and complications which include infection, swelling, bruising, eyelid position asymmetry, scarring and loss of eyelashes.