Enucleation and Evisceration: Eye Removal Surgery

A painful blind eye, eye cancer, or a severe injury or infection of the eye can necessitate eye removal surgery.

Eye removal surgery can be divided into two categories:
Enucleation. In an enucleation, the whole eye (globe) is detached. The eye muscles are left intact and resewn to the spherical implant or the artificial eyeball.

Evisceration. The cornea, which is the transparent, dome-shaped window at the front of the body, and the eye contents are separated during an evisceration. The scleral shell (the white portion of the eye) and the eye muscles are left intact. The implant is then inserted into the scleral casing, which is still attached to the muscles.

Enucleation and Evisceration Difference

enucleation and evisceration

Evisceration takes less time and is less invasive than the other two treatments. Not every patient, however, is a good candidate for evisceration. Enucleation is usually favored over evisceration in cases of cancer, trauma (serious injury), or infection of the eye. In certain cases, either treatment can produce the same result.

Consult your ophthalmologist to decide which surgery is best for you and any particular risks you should be aware of before deciding on a procedure.

It is important to remember that the outcomes of any operation are final and irreversible—you would not be able to see out of that eye again.

What to Expect

enucleation and evisceration

Before the operation, tell your ophthalmologist about all of your medications. If you continue taking them until surgery, your surgeon will inform you. All medicines, with the exception of blood thinners, should usually be continued. The length of time you can take a blood thinner depends on the type of blood thinner you are taking, the half life of the drug (how long it takes for the medicine to break down in your system), and the reason you were prescribed it.

When scheduling the operation, bear in mind that strenuous physical exercise and swimming are not recommended for two weeks after the procedure. You will need to wait up to two months for your wound to heal before you can be fitted for a prosthesis. The prosthesis is similar to a big contact lens that the ocularist custom paints to look like your other eye. It is designed to cover the implant that was implanted within the eye during surgery. Before the surgery, you can select an ocularist and make an appointment with them.

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