Enucleation is the surgical procedure that removes the entire globe (eyeball) while leaving the surrounding orbital and periorbital structures intact
In contrast, Evisceration is the surgical procedure that removes all the contents of the eye except the sclera (the white part of the eye) and the eye muscles.
Severe injury, tumors within the eye, infection, chronic pain from a blind eye or to cosmetically enhance the appearance of a disfigured eye are some common reasons Dr. Marshak performs enucleation and eviscerations.
Enucleation is often the preferred procedure when there is an intraocular tumor or when trauma increases one’s risk of developing a severe auto-immune condition called sympathetic ophthalmia.
For most other situations, both enucleation and evisceration may be suitable options and depending on your particular need, you and Dr. Marshak can determine which procedures would produce the best results for you.
Both enucleation and evisceration procedures are typically performed at an outpatient surgical center under general anesthesia.
To replace what is removed during enucleation or evisceration, a globe-like implant or fatty tissue from an individual’s own body may be used inside the eye socket. Eye implants often consist of a variety of materials including acrylic, porous polyethyline, among other substances.
A prosthesis, or artificial eye, will be custom made by an ocularist. Think of it as a thick, large, firm contact lens. The front surface of the artificial eye will be painted to match other eye and the back surface will be molded to fit perfectly in the eye socket for optimal comfort and movement. The prosthesis is created to be easily removed as needed for cleaning. A well-made prosthesis last decades and most patients sleep with the prosthesis in place.
Medications such as pain-relievers, steroids or antibiotics may also be required depending on the situation. Patients may wear a patch after surgery for several days to several weeks, if they are waiting on a prosthesis.
Follow up care is important and usually occurs every 6-12 months to make sure the eye socket tissue is healthy is not irritated from the implant. Occasionally, the socket will shrink with time and that can affect the fit of the prosthesis but Dr. Marshak will be sure to monitor for any changes to ensure your satisfaction and comfort.
Contact Dr. Marshak in Palm Desert, California if you need a skilled and experienced oculoplastic surgeon to help address your eye after trauma or other condition that has compromised its function or appearance.