a) What is pleomorphic adenoma?
This is the most common benign tumour of the lacrimal gland. It is also known as benign mixed cell tumour. It is formed from the cells and ducts that produce tears in the lacrimal gland. They also commonly occur in the salivary glands. Although labelled as benign, very rarely pleomorphic adenoma can turn into malignant tumours.
b) What are the symptoms of lacrimal gland pleomorphic adenoma?
This causes a painless lump in the lacrimal gland and sometimes swelling to the top eyelid. This can slowly cause the eye to stick out (proptosis - picture above). It can also push the eye down and inwards. This may cause double vision and decreased the vision.
c) Will I need any tests?
Different types of scans can be used to help diagnose this benign tumour. It is also useful if surgery is being planned. Scans may include:
• CT scan
• MRI scan
• US scan
d) What is the treatment for lacrimal gland pleomorphic adenoma?
Removal with surgery may be required. We aim to remove the whole tumour without cutting into the tumour - this may cause it to spread and re-grow at a later stage. For this reason biopsy we do not take a biopsy before surgery.