Why Might a Patient Need Eye Removal Surgery?
There are a few different reasons for which ophthalmologists may refer patients to an oculofacial plastic surgeon for eye removal surgery. These may include:
- chronic pain in a blind eye
- severe and irreparable trauma to the eye
- cancer in the eye
- uncontrolled infection of the eye
- Enucleation involves removal of the eyeball, and placement of a round silicone implant into the socket to restore volume. The implant is attached to the eye muscles, allowing for it to move in a similar manner to the eye. The pink tissue of the eye (conjunctiva) is then sutured over the implant.
- Evisceration involves removal of the cornea and the contents of the eyeball but leaving behind the wall of the eyeball (the sclera). The eye muscles remain attached to the sclera. The round silicone implant is placed behind the sclera into the socket to restore volume. The pink tissue of the eye (conjunctiva) is then sutured over the sclera.
- Eye removal surgery is performed under anesthesia with the patient completely asleep in the operating room.
- Eye removal surgery is an outpatient procedure and takes approximately 1-1.5 hours to perform.
- Postoperative pain medication will be prescribed for the first few days after surgery.
- For both enucleation and evisceration, a temporary conformer (contoured plastic shell) is placed inside the eye socket and the eyelids are sewn closed to allow for proper healing of the socket. These sutures are dissolvable. The eye will remain patched for 1 week after surgery and the patch will be removed at your first follow up visit.
- Please refer to our additional resources for general pre-operative and post-operative instructions.
- We ask that all patients with only one seeing eye to wear polycarbonate glasses at all times to prevent injury to the seeing eye. Patients should also have regular ophthalmologic exams to ensure health of the remaining eye.
- Approximately 6 weeks after surgery, an ocularist (a specialist who makes prosthetic eyes) will create a custom-fit prosthesis painted to match the other eye as much as possible.
- The prosthetic eye will also typically have good conversation-range movement.
- Routine follow up visits with the ocularist may be required for maintenance of the prosthetic eye
Yes, insurance typically covers eye removal surgery.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology EyeWiki is an excellent resource for additional information about enucleation and evisceration surgeries.
Schedule a Consultation
At your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Shannon S. Joseph, she will carefully review your medical and eye history, complete a comprehensive examination, and discuss the surgical options in detail with you to help you decide which approach would be most suitable for you. We take care of patients from Troy, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield, Rochester Hills, Rochester, and the rest of Metro Detroit and Southeastern Michigan. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.