This is the medical term used for the removal of an eye).(
The decision to remove an eye is never taken lightly by your doctor, and all staff involved in your care are aware that this loss is very distressing for both you and your family. The following information has been produced in order that some of the uncertainties you may have regarding the loss of your eye can be cleared up. If after reading the information, you are unsure of, or do not understand any part of your treatment, please feel free to ask the medical or nursing staff to explain it further. When telephoning the eye department the following contact numbers may be useful.
Ward 1C 0141 211 3238
Eye Casualty 0141 211 1033
This operation becomes necessary when the eye has been damaged by injury, eye disease,
infection or inflammation. During the surgery your doctor will only remove the eye, leaving the lids intact. In most cases an implant is inserted into the eye socket and attached to the eye muscles once the eye has been removed. The implant will be permanent and will support the artificial eye, giving it a more natural appearance. As the implant is attached to muscle, it should give a certain degree of movement to the artificial eye.
After surgery, you should expect to be in hospital for a day or so, although this does depend on the individual’s condition. On your return from the operating theatre you will have a padded dressing and elastoplast strapping may be in place. This is designed to place a little firm pressure on the socket, because of this it may feel tight at first.
If you experience discomfort please let the nursing staff know. This dressing is left in place for 24 - 48 hours, depending on your surgeon’s wishes. When the dressing is removed, it is normal for the eye lids to be slightly swollen, some bruising may also be expected. The frequent use of ice packs will help reduce this. During this early period of your treatment you will have a temporary artificial eye in place, or a conformer which will be inserted into the eye socket while you are in the operating theatre. This helps keep the socket shape until healing has taken place. The conformer or temporary eye stays in place until you attend the artificial eye clinic for the first time.
Healing of your socket can take up to 6 weeks, during this time you will attend the eye out patient department. Due to the surgery which has taken place, it is normal for there to be a little clear or pink fluid draining from the socket. This may make the lashes and lids sticky, frequent bathing with cooled, boiled water will reduce this. Your nurse will show you how to do this along with instructions in how to use any eye drops or ointment before you are discharged home.
As with any operation, if there is any change once you are home, for example any increased discharge, swelling or pain, please contact the ward. If your conformer or temporary eye accidentally comes out before your first clinic appointment contact the ward to arrange for it to be put in again. Once the eye socket has healed the texture resembles the area around the inside of your lips. When your surgeon decides your socket has healed an appointment will be made for you at the artificial eye clinic. There you will be fitted with a temporary eye, and an impression of your socket taken for your permanent one. It may take several visits in order to ensure your eye fits well. Staff at the artificial eye clinic will show you how to insert and remove your eye, along with advice on cleaning it.
Adjusting to the Change
If you had little or no sight in your eye before losing it, there will only be minor adjustments to be made in your day to day life in order to accommodate single eye vision. If however you have suffered a sudden loss in vision, then it may take time to get fully used to life with one eye. As you no longer see with both eyes, you will find your depth perception, that is your ability to judge near distances, is poor. You will adapt quickly, but a little extra care will be needed when pouring hot drinks, walking on uneven surfaces, going up and down stairs or simply walking through doorways at first.
You will be able to hold a licence for a group 1 vehicle providing you have fully adjusted to single vision (usually 3 - 6 months) and the remaining eye has good vision. This means you will be able to drive an ordinary car, but not a lorry or a bus. You must be able to read a vehicle number plate from roughly the length of five cars. If you require to wear spectacles or contact lenses these must be worn whenever driving.
Remember it is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit to drive.