INTRODUCTION: Tumors involving the lacrimal drainage apparatus can be effectively treated with oncologic eye-sparing resection, immediate reconstruction, and adjuvant radiation. The extirpative technique is well described, whereas the reconstructive approach and outcomes are limited and largely anecdotal. The present study describes the largest series in the literature evaluating outcomes after reconstruction after globe-preserving oncologic resection. METHODS: A retrospective review was performed for all patients undergoing reconstruction after resection of lacrimal gland tumors from 2008 to 2019. Reconstruction and ophthalmologic outcomes were assessed. RESULTS: Of the 17 patients included, 2 underwent complex repair, 6 were reconstructed with a locoregional flap, and 9 underwent free flap reconstruction. All patients were treated with adjuvant radiation therapy. The median follow-up was 19 months (range, 5-126 months). Defects reconstructed with free flaps had lower rates of wound dehiscence and fistula formation compared with those reconstructed with other techniques (11% vs 25%, P = 0.45). Patients undergoing reconstruction with free tissue transfer also tended to have lower rates of ectropion, keratopathy and decreased visual acuity compared with those undergoing nonmicrosurgical reconstruction (33% vs 50%, P = 0.48; 11% vs 38%, P = 0.20; 56% vs 75%, P = 0.40, respectively). These differences were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to compare reconstructive and functional outcomes of nonmicrosurgical reconstruction and microsurgical free tissue transfer in the setting of eye-sparing surgery for tumors of the lacrimal drainage apparatus. Although various reconstructive options are feasible, microsurgical free tissue transfer is often used at our center and is associated with reliable outcomes.
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