Eye removal surgery is completed in the most extreme circumstances and means that one or both of the eyes are removed. There are three types of surgery that can be carried out for eye removal.
Enucleation is a surgery that removes the eye but leaves the orbital contents and the eye muscles and intact in the eye socket. This surgery is normally completed when a person has tumors behind or around the eye, because when the tumors grow they impact the eye and orbit, damaging the parts of the eye they have restricted and causing a lot of pain.
Like most eye removal surgeries, the patient can have a prosthetic eye post surgery for cosmetic reasons.
This surgery is normally carried out on someone who is already blind in the eye being prepared for surgery and is having a lot of pain in the blind eye. During surgry the eye is removed, only leaving the scleral shell and extraocular muscles in the eye socket. Once the eye has been removed the patient can have an ocular prosthetic put over the eye socket for cosmetic purposes.
This surgery can be difficult for patients if they have vision in the second eye because they will see a huge visual difference in their appearance, although the prosthetic eye can be very concealing.
This surgery can be carried out under general or local anesthetic and normally involves anti-inflammatory and antibiotics being injected into the area during surgery.
Exenteration is mainly used for patients who have cancer; the surgery entails removing the entire eye and its contents all the way down to the bone of the orbit. This means that some of the flesh around the external part of the eye is removed also, like the eyelids, the flesh around the eyelids and in some cases even the eyebrow.
Once the surgery is complete skin grafts can be made to cover the socket where the eye used to be. A lot of patients also opt for a prosthetic eye, these eyes are the most difficult to make and involve making molds of the persons eye and surrounding area that has been removed to try and make the prosthetic look as real as possible.
This surgery is life saving in most patients as the objective is to remove all cancerous tissue, but the affects on the patient emotionally can be devastating as the surgery can be carried out on a working eye and the amount of tissue removed can be quite a lot.
Although prosthetics can make a huge difference in the visual appearance of a person post exenteration they are not as good at concealing the surgery as other prosthesis.
Future of eye removal surgery
New surgeries are being found all the time, the problem faced with eye removal surgery is that what ever the procedure created does, the outcome will still be the same. It will be interesting to watch the evolution of eye removal surgery to find what intuitive ways are found to improve cosmetics post surgery.