Enucleation is the medical term for removing the eye. This is recommended when the tumour is too large for other treatments or has started to invade behind the eye. Removing the eye along with the tumour is sometimes preferred if there is a lot of pain and discomfort in the eye. This can be due to high pressure inside the eye caused by blockage of the drainage angle by tumour or new blood vessels grown after radiotherapy.
The idea of having your eye removed is scary. With current technology, however, we can get excellent cosmetic results with uniquely designed and fitted artificial eye implants (please click below to see photos). Our artifical eye clinic is run in Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow. Alternatively, some patients may prefer to just wear an eye patch after the tumour is removed.
After removing the eye, although this gets rid of the tumour growing in the eye, unfortunately this does not prevent the tumour growing else where in the body later in life. The most likely place for melanoma to regrow is the liver. For this reason we may decide to organise a liver ultrasound scan every year at your local hospital to screen for cancer growth.