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Common Questions about Ocular Prosthesis

What is an Ocular Prosthesis?

An Ocular Prosthesis is what is commonly known as an artificial eye. It is made from acrylic or glass material.

What is a Scleral or Haptic Shell ?

This is a thin artificial eye that fits flush over your own eye in cases of having a shrunken eye known as a Phthisical eye. It covers the sclera as well as the cornea therefore the whole of the front of the blinded eye protecting the ocular surface.

What is Enucleation and Evisceration?

Enucleation involves removal of the whole eye keeping muscles intact for possible attachment to an orbital implant. Usually implanted is donor sclera.
Evisceration is when the contents of the eye is removed, keeping the sclera and muscles intact, replaced by an implant. The sclera is left in place with attached muscles enabling extensive movements of the eye prosthesis.

What reasons are there for the removal of eyes?

There are several reasons why you would have your eye surgically removed:

  • Cancerous Tumour in the eye, removal would be to prevent the cancer from spreading to the rest of the body.
  • Diseases and infections subsequent to corneal grafts, glaucoma, detached retinals etc.
  • Trauma e.g. motor vehicle/bike accidents, stabbing or gunshot injuries etc.
  • Blinded eyes that are very painful due to pressure and inflammation. The removal of the eye would be the best cause of action to alleviate this pain. Phthisical eyes,(Unsightly blind eyes) - By fitting a custom moulded Haptic Scleral Lens (incorporating an iris and sclera along with veins) that covers the whole of the front of the blinded eye. The fitting of a Haptic Lens will prevent the eyelashes from irritating the eye and allows for comfortable wearing.

When the eye is removed what happens then?

During the surgical removal of an eye, the sclera could be left in place with attached muscles. The ophthalmologist inserts an implant into the orbit in order to replace the loss of volume and covers it with the conjunctiva, (the mucous membrane). As the muscles move left and right, it allows the implant to move, enabling extensive movement of the eye prosthesis. Subsequent to the surgery, the orbit needs to heal and this normally takes more or less 4-6 weeks.

Are there different kinds of implants?

Yes, there are various shapes and sizes made from different kinds of material
The Ophthalmologists normally decide on the size and which implant to use at the time of the surgical removal of the eye
An artificial eye/ Ocular prosthesis, with the abilities of a professional ocularist can be made to appear as natural eye to those you meet.
Losing an eye is a traumatic experience for anyone. This trauma can be alleviated considerably with the help and information given by the specialist eye institutions.


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