Unfortunately there are times when an eye must be removed. There are two common types of eye removal, enucleation and evisceration. Removal of the entire eyeball is known as enucleation, and removal of the contents of the eyeball (leaving the outer coat of the eye attached to the eye socket muscles), is called evisceration.
Eye removal is a last resort treatment option in many conditions including severe trauma, cancer in the eye, or chronic eye diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Once all vision has been irreversibly lost and pain is present, eye removal can help with pain and the disfigured appearance of a blind eye.
Dr. Vickers is a board-certified ophthalmologist with two years of specialized training in oculoplastics. He will discuss your surgical options to help you choose the correct plan for your condition. The surgery is outpatient under general anesthesia and typically lasts one hour or less.
Once the eyeball is removed, an orbital implant is typically placed. This fills the void in the eye socket and allows the muscles that control eye movement to continue to function. Most patients recover to normal activities within 1 to 2 weeks. Six to eight weeks after surgery a prosthesis, also known as an artificial or glass eye, can be fitted by an ocularist to create a more natural look.