Orbital Tumors

The eye socket is a relatively small space with many important structures in it. Surgery of the orbit (eye socket) may be necessary to remove foreign bodies (wood, metal, etc.) or tumors. In some cases, if the foreign body or tumor is not pressing on the eye structures, it may be safely left alone. In other cases, it is important to the safety of the eye to remove it. This is best done by a specialist in eye socket surgery.

Surgery of the eye socket is usually done in an operating room with the patient under general anesthesia (completely asleep). Your doctor will NOT remove the eyeball!! Small incisions are used to get to the tumor or foreign body and delicate instruments are used to move the eye to one side and allow your doctor to see the mass. Your doctor may need to patch the eye after surgery but often does not.

The results of orbital (eye socket) surgery depend upon each patient’s severity and location of the mass, symptoms, unique anatomy and appearance goals. Eye socket surgery is not considered cosmetic surgery but most patients feel that they look better after they have healed. Orbital surgery does not improve blurred vision caused by problems inside the eyeball, or by visual loss caused by neurological trauma behind the eye. This surgery cannot repair all problems associated with trauma to the face.

It is important to note that some patients have unrealistic expectations about how orbital surgery will impact their lives. Carefully evaluate your goals and your ability to deal with changes to your appearance before agreeing to this surgery. Understand the risks and ask questions of your doctor.

You may be willing to live with the symptoms associated with the foreign body or tumor (pain, visual loss, double vision, etc.) and decide not to have surgery on your eye socket at this time. In some cases, double vision may be improved with glasses or eye muscle surgery.