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Types of Surgery For Eye Cancer

Types of Surgery For Eye Cancer | Dallas | Austin | Plano, TexasEye cancer is a term that refers to various types of tumors that can begin in different parts of the eye. It occurs when healthy cells in or around the eye change and develop uncontrollably, creating a mass called a tumor. Surgery can be used to treat some types of melanomas of the eye.

Khan Eyelid and Facial Aesthetics, led by board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Tanya Khan, provides safe and proven eye care procedures to patients in Austin, Dallas, Texas, and surrounding communities. 

Types of Surgery for Eye Cancer

The type of surgery that needs to be undertaken depends largely on the size and location of the tumor, the extent to which it has spread, and the overall health of the patient. 

All these surgeries are conducted with the patient under general anesthesia (in a deep sleep) and may require a stay of one to two days in the hospital. Some of the surgical procedures used to treat patients with eye melanoma are as follows:


This refers to the removal of part of the iris (the colored part of the eye). This surgery may be a suitable option for iris melanomas that are very small. 


This surgery refers to the removal of part of the iris, along with a small piece of the outer part of the eyeball. This might also be a good option to treat small iris melanomas.


It involves the removal of a fraction of the iris and the ciliary body. This surgical procedure is also appropriate for small iris melanomas.

Transscleral Resection 

It refers to the surgical removal of only the melanoma of the ciliary body or choroid. This kind of surgery should only be undertaken by surgeons who have several years of experience in the treatment of eye melanomas because it is difficult to take out the tumor without causing damage to the rest of the eye. If complications arise during or after surgery, it could cause serious problems of the vision.


This involves the removal of the whole eyeball. It is suitable for treating larger melanomas. However, the procedure might also be undertaken for some smaller melanomas, if there is no vision in the eye, or in cases where other options of treatment could damage the useful vision in the eye anyway. 

As part of the same surgery, an orbital implant is generally put in to take the place of the eyeball. The implant is made out of silicone or hydroxyapatite (a substance similar to bone). 

The implant is attached to the muscles that moved the eye, so it should move the same way as the original eye would have. Within a few weeks of the surgical procedure, you need to visit an ocularist (a specialist in eye prostheses) to be fixed with an artificial eye, a thin shell that can fit over the orbital implant and beneath the eyelids. 

The artificial eye matches the color and size of the eye that is remaining. Once it is in fitted, it will be difficult to tell the difference from the real eye.

Orbital Exenteration 

It refers to the removal of the eyeball and some adjacent structures such as parts of the eyelid and muscles, other tissues and nerves inside the eye socket. This surgical procedure is not common, but it might be undertaken sometimes for melanomas that have grown outside the eyeball into the surrounding structures. As with enucleation, the surgeon may place an artificial eye in the socket after surgery.

Possible Risks and Side Effects

All surgeries carry an inherent risk, including the chances of bleeding, pain, blood clots, complications from anesthesia and infections. Therefore, you should choose an experienced eye surgeon to achieve safe and predictable outcomes. 

Oculoplastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Tanya Khan receives patients from Austin, Dallas, Texas, and nearby areas for advanced eye care treatments.  

For more information about procedures and treatments at Khan Eyelid and Facial Aesthetics by Ophthalmic surgeon Dr. Tanya Khan. Click here to contact us.

Offices in Dallas and Austin, Texas.

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