Enucleation of the eye
What is enucleation of the eye?
Enucleation of the eye is a surgical intervention that consists of removing the entire eyeball. The optic nerve and the muscles around the eye are also cut during this surgery, but they are not removed from the eye socket.
Our oculoplastic surgery specialists often use enucleation to alleviate very painful eye diseases or ophthalmological tumours that endanger the patient’s life as we as their eyesight.
The operation basically consists of completely removing the eyeball and inserting a spherical implant to prevent the eye socket from remaining empty. This implant is stitched to the six extraocular muscles to make the natural movement of the eye easier. A temporary prosthesis is placed over it to help heal the operated tissues and to act as support until the definitive prosthesis is fitted.
This is more radical surgery than ocular evisceration, in which some of the eye’s structures are preserved.
Problems treated with enucleation of the eye
As well as being recommended in cases of accidents or blows in which the eyeball is destroyed and rendered completely useless, as well as eye tumours such as uveal melanoma and retinoblastoma, this surgery is used to:
- Improve the appearance of blind and/or disfigured eyes in which enucleation is required before an eye prosthesis can be fitted to give the face a more natural appearance.
- Inflammatory diseases and processes which are also painful. This is the case of iridocyclitis (inflammation of the iris and of the ciliary body, two structures located in the anterior segment of the eye), ocular tuberculosis (an infection that can affect different parts of the eye), early-onset panophthalmitis (generally infectious inflammation that affects the entire eye) or severe glaucoma.