Reasons for Eye Removal Surgery
Unfortunately some serious eye problems necessitate eye removal surgery.
This is usually performed:
- When the animal is in pain that is poorly controlled.
- When a worsening problem can be anticipated.
- Where a potentially malignant cancer involves the eye.
The surgical procedure can often be performed by your referring veterinarian. Post operatively the area where the eyeball was (the orbital area) may be swollen, but this settles down over time. Initially the appearance of your pet after surgery may be slightly unusual. Once the hair has grown back, it looks fine, just like the eye is closed. Complications are minimal, but some of the more common ones can involve infection and swelling at the surgical site, bloody nasal discharge, slight sinking of the orbital skin (as eye is removed), and suture break down.
Intrascleral Prosthesis Surgery
Where appropriate, the eye specialist may recommend a prosthesis. In these cases only the contents of the eye are removed and a spherical prosthesis is placed inside the original eye.Your pet therefore retains an eye which is symmetric and looks cosmetically satisfactory. There is little difference in the surgical time between an eye removal, and the placement of an intrascleral prosthesis.Initially after prosthesis surgery is performed the eye will be swollen for the first 48-72 hours. For the first 4-6 weeks the eye will look very bloodshot, and then after this period the eye will become a greyish/black colour.
Success rates are very high with this surgery. Failures are usually due to preceding infection in the eyes, or if the sutures rupture holding the prosthesis in place. These complications are unusual however.