Eye evisceration

Posted by cahnny @cahnny, Nov 2, 2017

Are there any people here who have experience with having their eye eviserated. I hope I’m wording that correctly. Next week I’m scheduled to have my left eye eviserated. Although I’ve been blind in that eye for years due to chonic secondary glaucoma and uveitis and knew this day was coming, I’m still nervous. I think communicating with others who have gone through it would help. I’m not getting a full eye replacement right now. He’s just going to put a white “ball” in there to hold the shape of the eye and I’ll leave it at that for now. I’m in my 70s and want to keep the cost down so thought I’d just go with an eye patch for the time being so people don’t have to look at a blank white false eye. The doctor said I could have a “lense” put on the “ball” at a later date if I wanted to.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Eye Conditions group.

@tlt

Eye evisceration surgery update: It went great!! I fretted and tried my best to speak with both my doctor and the anesthesiologist in advance. My surgeon called two days prior, and by that time all he could do was alert his anesthesia team and ask me to come to the hospital earlier. Finally spoke with the anesthesiologist about 20 minutes before going into the OR, and his response and planned approach was exactly what I needed to hear, based on our own research and experiences.

Two weeks later, and recovering well. Surgery itself took less than an hour and I was on my way home. One week follow up with the surgeon to remove stitches in my eyelids (sewn shut), with no restrictions after that. My plan now will be to see the surgeon in July to check on healing process before meeting with cosmetic ocularist for my prosthetic. If anyone is interested, I can update you on the process for getting the prosthetic in three months.

This is not a common surgery, which is why is can be nice to hear about others' experiences when you are going through something like it. I'm grateful for this space, and for all of you who have reached out to me for support. Thank you!! I feel very blessed.

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Terri, I very much appreciate your posting an update about your surgery. Throwing ***confetti*** that it went well. What a relief. Your post will give others who have to have this surgery hope and reassurance.

Yes, please post further updates about the July check-up and the meeting with the cosmetic ocularist and the prosthetic. I'd be very interested to learn about that part of the journey.

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@tlt

Thank you so much for your compassionate understanding and support! It means a lot. Yes, April 22 is an awesome day for so many reasons. Besides also being Earth Day, it was also my grandmother's birthday.

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@tlt, Terri, Now we have your successful surgery to add to this special day. I am happy that the day went so well for you. You were under the care of remarkable doctors who took good care of you, and eased your fears ahead of the procedure!

Will you have any kind of precautions after the stitches are removed?

I will be interested to hear from you after your July check-up.

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Hello all, I'm here today to update you on my artificial eye. I was fitted with my ocular prosthetic last week. It was about a five hour process, with several breaks in between. I think it looks pretty good, though my poor right eye socket has been through A LOT in my lifetime, and so the fit is a bit tight. But the movement in conjunction with my "good"eye, the color and size are really excellent. I'm pleased. The thing now is finding the right moisturizing drops to ease the dryness and mucous that forms with artificial eyes. Currently, I am trying a mineral oil drop, and have two others on the way: vitamin E drops, and silicon based drops for artificial eyes. I surely hope someone finds this update helpful.

I will add that there is quite an art to creating artificial eyes. Find a good ocularist because you'll need to have your eye polished periodically, and also replaced after 5 years or so. Our bodies and eye sockets continue to change. Peace and hope to all.

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@tlt

Hello all, I'm here today to update you on my artificial eye. I was fitted with my ocular prosthetic last week. It was about a five hour process, with several breaks in between. I think it looks pretty good, though my poor right eye socket has been through A LOT in my lifetime, and so the fit is a bit tight. But the movement in conjunction with my "good"eye, the color and size are really excellent. I'm pleased. The thing now is finding the right moisturizing drops to ease the dryness and mucous that forms with artificial eyes. Currently, I am trying a mineral oil drop, and have two others on the way: vitamin E drops, and silicon based drops for artificial eyes. I surely hope someone finds this update helpful.

I will add that there is quite an art to creating artificial eyes. Find a good ocularist because you'll need to have your eye polished periodically, and also replaced after 5 years or so. Our bodies and eye sockets continue to change. Peace and hope to all.

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Terri, congratulations on the new artificial eye. So good to get your update! I bet there is quite the art to creating an artificial eye. Incredible that today the artificial eye moves in tandem with the good eye. I had no idea about the need to replace them every 5 years or so, but that makes sense.

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I am 80 + yrs old. I had a severe eye injury at the age of 21. I have had 4 corneal transplants and a "tube" operation to relieve eye pressure. I cannot have any more surgeries due to the condition of my eye. I have phthisis bulbi (end stage eye disease) and uveitis. I have been doctoring with a cornea specialist and I have to wear a bandage contact lens and I am using combigan, pred forte, lumigan, and polytrim plus moisture drops. Will my eye qualify for evisceration surgery? Will I have to have enucleation surgery? How long before I have to make a decision? My doctor tells me he doesn't know how long before I have to have surgery and he is just trying to keep any infection from occurring and maintain the current status. I am scared to death not knowing answers regarding the process? The earliest appointment is July before I can see a Ophthalmologic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon for answers and reevaluation. How long before my eye starts shrinking? So many questions.

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Hi @renyt and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. So glad to have you. You'll see that I moved your post to a discussion about evisceration so you can meet other members like Terri (@tlt) who has experience with it.

Is there a different surgeon that you can consult with at an earlier date?

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@amandaburnett

Hi @renyt and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. So glad to have you. You'll see that I moved your post to a discussion about evisceration so you can meet other members like Terri (@tlt) who has experience with it.

Is there a different surgeon that you can consult with at an earlier date?

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Thank you for responding. I will go to the eviseration message board for more info. I just don't know if I will qualify due to the condition of my eye. I have tried to get an earlier appt but cannot. Mid July is the earliest. I am not in any pain yet. I use the antibiotic 4 times a day and moisture drops to keep the bandage lens moist. Renyt

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@tlt

Eye evisceration surgery update: It went great!! I fretted and tried my best to speak with both my doctor and the anesthesiologist in advance. My surgeon called two days prior, and by that time all he could do was alert his anesthesia team and ask me to come to the hospital earlier. Finally spoke with the anesthesiologist about 20 minutes before going into the OR, and his response and planned approach was exactly what I needed to hear, based on our own research and experiences.

Two weeks later, and recovering well. Surgery itself took less than an hour and I was on my way home. One week follow up with the surgeon to remove stitches in my eyelids (sewn shut), with no restrictions after that. My plan now will be to see the surgeon in July to check on healing process before meeting with cosmetic ocularist for my prosthetic. If anyone is interested, I can update you on the process for getting the prosthetic in three months.

This is not a common surgery, which is why is can be nice to hear about others' experiences when you are going through something like it. I'm grateful for this space, and for all of you who have reached out to me for support. Thank you!! I feel very blessed.

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I am facing either evisceration or enucleation down the road – I don't know when or which type of surgery will be recommended. Does my eye have to meet certain health criteria for the evisceration vs enucleation? I appreciated your article. Did you have a choice as to which surgery you had? I am almost 82 yrs old and really scared. I don't know if I can do this. I can't imagine going home the same day!! When I think of it I imagine the pain as unbearable!! I don't think I can look at myself after the surgery!! I can't see myself taking care of it afterwards. I've been through 5 eye surgeries, breast cancer, chemo, reconstruction but this frightens me more than the cancer. Any more information what you have gone through really will help me. I don't have anyone to take care of me and I don't know if I will need assistance. God bless you and hope you are healed and happy with the results of your surgery. Renyt

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@renyt

I am 80 + yrs old. I had a severe eye injury at the age of 21. I have had 4 corneal transplants and a "tube" operation to relieve eye pressure. I cannot have any more surgeries due to the condition of my eye. I have phthisis bulbi (end stage eye disease) and uveitis. I have been doctoring with a cornea specialist and I have to wear a bandage contact lens and I am using combigan, pred forte, lumigan, and polytrim plus moisture drops. Will my eye qualify for evisceration surgery? Will I have to have enucleation surgery? How long before I have to make a decision? My doctor tells me he doesn't know how long before I have to have surgery and he is just trying to keep any infection from occurring and maintain the current status. I am scared to death not knowing answers regarding the process? The earliest appointment is July before I can see a Ophthalmologic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon for answers and reevaluation. How long before my eye starts shrinking? So many questions.

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Hello, and sorry to hear about your eye. Also, sorry to hear you have to wait until July to talk to a knowledgeable doctor about your options. I had an evisceration one year ago after 40 years of uveitis and glaucoma in both eyes. Had the tubes inserted in the '90's but the one on my right eye began to fail in 2010 and had to be removed. I could have lost that eye then, but was afraid to. Hindsight as it is, wish I'd had guts back then. I was at risk for infection this time, and I have artificial joints all over my body so could not afford to risk that. I opted for the evisceration and ocular prosthesis. Um, currently, though, I had a bit of trouble with my prosthesis. It caused some irritation, and I am leaving it out until I see the surgeon again tomorrow. Treating it with amoxycillin and antibiotic ointment. I will need to have the prosthesis adjusted. I can update you tomorrow or Tuesday after I see the surgeon if you're interested. Otherwise, I'm happy to answer any questions that I can or offer support. Hang in there! I know it's hard to deal with a painful eye and the potential loss of something so precious. Wishing you all the best.

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@tlt

Hello, and sorry to hear about your eye. Also, sorry to hear you have to wait until July to talk to a knowledgeable doctor about your options. I had an evisceration one year ago after 40 years of uveitis and glaucoma in both eyes. Had the tubes inserted in the '90's but the one on my right eye began to fail in 2010 and had to be removed. I could have lost that eye then, but was afraid to. Hindsight as it is, wish I'd had guts back then. I was at risk for infection this time, and I have artificial joints all over my body so could not afford to risk that. I opted for the evisceration and ocular prosthesis. Um, currently, though, I had a bit of trouble with my prosthesis. It caused some irritation, and I am leaving it out until I see the surgeon again tomorrow. Treating it with amoxycillin and antibiotic ointment. I will need to have the prosthesis adjusted. I can update you tomorrow or Tuesday after I see the surgeon if you're interested. Otherwise, I'm happy to answer any questions that I can or offer support. Hang in there! I know it's hard to deal with a painful eye and the potential loss of something so precious. Wishing you all the best.

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Renyt, I'm sorry, I had not seen this comment before I responded above. In 2010, I was threatened with enucleation. The discussion was about the types of prostheses used back then, and I didn't like my options. It wasn't a glassy eye, but some other kind of material. I really don't know that procedure. This time, I saw a surgeon first, who sent me to an ocularist. AS soon as the ocularist looked at me, he said, "have you considered an evisceration?" I actually had to do something, and I thought that my best protection and aesthetic was the evisceration with a cosmetic prosthetic after it healed. I let it heal for 4 months. I sometimes wore a patch in public, but as someone with tons of scars and deformities as a result of my Juvenile Arthritis since age 2, I no longer care (that much) about how others perceive me. The prosthesis was for me. But I can't put it in by myself because of the limitations in my hands and elbows. I am legally blind so can't drive, and my cervical spine is fused so putting drops in requires me to lie down. My husband helps me a lot!

So, here's what I think. Learn what you can about the differences between evisceration and enucleation, and maybe Amanda can help with that. I don't know what artificial eyes are like for enucleations, but they could be similar. Mine is a polished polymer kind of thing, custom crafted to match exactly with my other eye. BTW, I hear some folks have fun with theirs and put little images of their pets or sports teams inside the pupil! Weird but fun! Also, you will need help for either surgery with getting there and going back home. So, maybe you can contact someone who would be willing to come help you for a time. Or maybe there are resources in the community or with your insurance to get you through this? You might want to talk to the surgeon about this.

Your eye will look very different after surgery. It will need time to heal. It will be painful like a headache for a couple of days or so. I know you've been through a lot and dread going through anymore. I know this because I've had over 40 surgeries in my 58 years. I don't know how much more I can take either. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Know your options and the consequences. Ask good questions of doctors, the supports you find here, and yourself. Can you keep your current eye? Can you simply wear a patch after the surgery?

Here's the other thing I can tell about you: you are very strong. You have endured much already, and none of it's fair, but you have seen your own resilience through your own experiences and ability to survive. Again, I wish you all the best and I will happily try to answer any other questions. I need to go back and listen to your last comment now and see if I missed anything, so sorry if I did.
Terri

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@tlt

Hello, and sorry to hear about your eye. Also, sorry to hear you have to wait until July to talk to a knowledgeable doctor about your options. I had an evisceration one year ago after 40 years of uveitis and glaucoma in both eyes. Had the tubes inserted in the '90's but the one on my right eye began to fail in 2010 and had to be removed. I could have lost that eye then, but was afraid to. Hindsight as it is, wish I'd had guts back then. I was at risk for infection this time, and I have artificial joints all over my body so could not afford to risk that. I opted for the evisceration and ocular prosthesis. Um, currently, though, I had a bit of trouble with my prosthesis. It caused some irritation, and I am leaving it out until I see the surgeon again tomorrow. Treating it with amoxycillin and antibiotic ointment. I will need to have the prosthesis adjusted. I can update you tomorrow or Tuesday after I see the surgeon if you're interested. Otherwise, I'm happy to answer any questions that I can or offer support. Hang in there! I know it's hard to deal with a painful eye and the potential loss of something so precious. Wishing you all the best.

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Thank you and I hope you will soon be comfortable. Yes – I am interested in the process you went thru. Who decided that evisceration surgery was the best route to go? I don't know if I have a choice. Anyway – when you feel like replying I would love to know more about what I am facing. Namely – how painful was the recovery? Wishing you the best RENYT

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@tlt

Renyt, I'm sorry, I had not seen this comment before I responded above. In 2010, I was threatened with enucleation. The discussion was about the types of prostheses used back then, and I didn't like my options. It wasn't a glassy eye, but some other kind of material. I really don't know that procedure. This time, I saw a surgeon first, who sent me to an ocularist. AS soon as the ocularist looked at me, he said, "have you considered an evisceration?" I actually had to do something, and I thought that my best protection and aesthetic was the evisceration with a cosmetic prosthetic after it healed. I let it heal for 4 months. I sometimes wore a patch in public, but as someone with tons of scars and deformities as a result of my Juvenile Arthritis since age 2, I no longer care (that much) about how others perceive me. The prosthesis was for me. But I can't put it in by myself because of the limitations in my hands and elbows. I am legally blind so can't drive, and my cervical spine is fused so putting drops in requires me to lie down. My husband helps me a lot!

So, here's what I think. Learn what you can about the differences between evisceration and enucleation, and maybe Amanda can help with that. I don't know what artificial eyes are like for enucleations, but they could be similar. Mine is a polished polymer kind of thing, custom crafted to match exactly with my other eye. BTW, I hear some folks have fun with theirs and put little images of their pets or sports teams inside the pupil! Weird but fun! Also, you will need help for either surgery with getting there and going back home. So, maybe you can contact someone who would be willing to come help you for a time. Or maybe there are resources in the community or with your insurance to get you through this? You might want to talk to the surgeon about this.

Your eye will look very different after surgery. It will need time to heal. It will be painful like a headache for a couple of days or so. I know you've been through a lot and dread going through anymore. I know this because I've had over 40 surgeries in my 58 years. I don't know how much more I can take either. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Know your options and the consequences. Ask good questions of doctors, the supports you find here, and yourself. Can you keep your current eye? Can you simply wear a patch after the surgery?

Here's the other thing I can tell about you: you are very strong. You have endured much already, and none of it's fair, but you have seen your own resilience through your own experiences and ability to survive. Again, I wish you all the best and I will happily try to answer any other questions. I need to go back and listen to your last comment now and see if I missed anything, so sorry if I did.
Terri

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Your article was most helpful. Just knowing what to expect helps. You healed for 4 months before continuing with the replacement prosthetic – was this due to your other health issues or is it best to heal for a long period first? I am concerned about the surgeon doing the surgery. I have read a lot about surgeons who are specialized in Ophthalmology Plastic and Reconstructive surgery. I did not want just "any" eye surgeon doing the surgery – especially if I have to have an enucleation. I searched for surgeons who had a 5 star rating and had acquired a Fellowship medical designation. Since I live near Kansas City, MO I located two within the Fellowship medical doctor's listing. I decided on the one I have an appt with in July, 2022. Probably this is the reason I have to wait 3 months for my appointment. Hopefully, I have chosen well! The physician I am currently with, his specialty is corneal transplants. I was referred to him by another ophthalmologist when my eye condition was deteriorating and I was becoming concerned what the problems were. This doctor immediately found the problem and began treatment. He is trying to prevent any infection from occurring. I have only been under the care of this doctor for 1 1/2 months. I had several questions he said he could not answer regarding evisceration and enucleation and recommended I talk to the surgeon in his medical clinic. I could not find any reports regarding the surgeon therefore I decided to get a reevaluation from the doctor I selected from my research of physicians with a Fellowship designation. Maybe I am being too concerned regarding which surgeon I go to? We lived in Minnesota many years before moving to Missouri. Three of my four eye surgeries were performed at Mayo Clinic as well as my breast cancer and my husbands colon cancer. If it wasn't for the distance where we live now I would return to Mayo for my current eye issues. We could not be more pleased with Mayo! Thank you for your message and will appreciate anything else you have to share with me. Your struggles have been much more than mine and bless you for enduring your health issues. We thank God he gives us the strength to handle the issues we face in our lives. May you have a beautiful day. Sorry for my long post. RENYT

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