Reconstructive surgery saves vision of NYC woman diagnosed with skin cancer on eyelid

BELLE HARBOR, Queens (WABC) -- The fact that 77-year-old Barbara Renda can blink is a great thing.

Two months ago, she was diagnosed with skin cancer on her eyelid.

Renda said it was an insidious little thing, a dry patch. But it wasn't, and a tennis ball-sized area of skin had to be removed.

Dr. Harsha Reddy, who is an oculoplastic surgeon at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, used skin from Renda's arm and neck for the reconstruction. He really needed to give her a full eyelid, even though there was risk of nerve damage. Otherwise, she'd have vision problems.

That was unacceptable to the grandmother of nine from Belle Harbor, because a year and a half ago, she lost her left eye when her retina detached. She is seeing clearly now with her new glass eye.

Renda's story just goes to show that checking even the smallest skin issues can make a significant difference, and don't forget to use sunblock on those eyelids.

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