Enucleation is the term for the surgical removal of an eye. Such a procedure is performed as a last resort and can follow certain diseases or severe injury to an eye. Diseases that can necessitate enucleation include ocular tumors such as retinoblastoma, and end-stage glaucoma. Also, when an eye is injured beyond repair and has little to no chance of seeing again, an enucleation is performed.
An ocular prosthesis is what takes the place of an eye after enucleation. It has no vision, but provides a more normal appearance to the face. When an enucleation is performed, the six muscles that move the eye are preserved if possible. This lays the ground work for placement of the prosthesis. The prosthesis consists of two parts. The first is a sphere that sits in the socket where the eye used to be, and is completely enclosed by the tissues that surrounded the eye that was removed. The second is a shell. It sits just inside the eyelids, in front of the sphere and the tissues that cover the sphere. The shell is made by an ocularist and is the part that people see. The ocularist makes the shell look as much like the fellow eye as possible, paying close attention to the color and size of the fellow eye. The shell is removable and needs to be cleaned and maintained periodically. Sometimes the shell has movement similar to the fellow eye if the muscles are intact and the shell is attached to the sphere.
Are you a medical professional, interested in joining AAPOS? Find out more here ▶