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Losing an eye is something that no one wants to go through, but unfortunately it is necessary sometimes. It is important to remember during this time that losing an eye does not mean you cannot still lead an active, normal life. Let’s walk through exactly what you can expect during your enucleation or evisceration.

What is Enucleation?

Enucleation is the act of surgically removing the eyeball. When the eyeball is removed, the surrounding tissues are kept in place and the eyeball is replaced with a small ball of glass, silicone, rubber or plastic. This procedure is performed when a diseased or injured eye is beyond repair.

What is Evisceration?

An evisceration of the eye involves the removal of the contents of the eye and the cornea, while leaving the sclera in place. The sclera is the white outer covering of the eye.

Reasons for Enucleation or Evisceration

There are many different injuries and diseases that can lead to enucleation or evisceration. These include:

  • Infection: Sometimes, an eye can become so severely infected that there is no way to heal it. In these cases, the eye must be removed to prevent the infection from spreading elsewhere in the body. In most cases of infection, an evisceration is performed.
  • Tumor: A cancerous growth within the eye that cannot be treated usually leads to enucleation. This is done to stop the spread of cancer into the rest of the body.
  • Blind, painful eye: Not all blind eyes need to be removed. However, when the blind eye is causing pain to the patient, it is best for it to be enucleated. Blind eyes can become painful for a number of reasons, such as increased pressure or inflammation. Several treatments can be attempted, with enucleation being the last resort.
  • Cosmetically unacceptable blind eye: Sometimes, a blind eye can become shrunken or have an unpleasant appearance. In some cases, this problem can be fixed with a scleral shell. A scleral shell acts like a large contact lens made to resemble an eye. Some patients find the scleral shell uncomfortable and instead elect to have the eye removed.

What Happens After the Eye Is Removed?

When the eyeball is enucleated or eviscerated, an implant is placed into the empty space in the orbit or within the remaining scleral shell. This is done to replace missing volume in the eye socket, and allows remaining ocular muscles to function. The implant is not meant to give any cosmetic appearance as an eye prosthesis would. When the socket is healed, it will appear as a pink pocket behind the eyelids. This is because the socket tissue grows over the implant.

After the socket is completely healed, you can start using an eye prosthesis, or an artificial eye. This prosthetic eye will be molded to fit your eye socket.

If you are looking for the most experienced surgeon to carry out your enucleation or evisceration, be sure to contact Silk Vision in Arlington, Annandale, Manassas or Alexandria today!