There are unfortunate times when an eye can become so diseased or painful that removal of the eye is necessary to allow an individual to have a more comfortable and productive life. Indications for eye removal can include extensive infection within the eye itself (endophthalmitis), advanced painful glaucoma, severe shrinkage or phthisis of the eye or a blind eye with corneal degeneration making the eye chronically painful. Whenever possible, topical therapies will be employed to control discomfort and save the eye from removal. If these therapies are ineffective or inappropriate, Dr. Scott may then recommend enucleation surgery.
Current advances allow dramatic improvements in reconstructing the eye socket following removal of the eye itself. During the surgical procedure, all six muscles that are attached to the eye are isolated and labeled to allow for their attachment to a new integrated orbital implant called a hydroxyapatite implant.
Once the patient has adequately healed from this surgical procedure, typically two months postoperatively, Dr. Scott will refer the patient to a special artist, called an ocularist, to have an artificial eye created. This prosthesis will have a similar appearance, in terms of iris color and shape, and act like an “overgrown contact lens” when inserted inside the eyelids, thereby camouflaging the fact that the eye is no longer present. Additional procedures may be necessary to correct any droopiness of the upper or lower eyelid to give the best final appearance.
Keep in mind that results vary according to the individual patient and the chosen procedure. Dr. Scott will explain all surgical procedures as any procedure, no matter how minor or major, has risks.
For more information regarding enucleation surgery, please call us at 703-620-4300 or use our convenient Request an Appointment form. We welcome patients from Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Fairfax, McLean and nearby areas.