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What Is The Most Common Surgery For Ocular Melanoma?

Ocular melanoma is a common cancer that develops in adults. However, it is a rare form of cancer. It originates in the melanin-producing cells of the eye present in the middle layer. Its incidence is more common in males than in females. Its risk factors involve old age, white skin, light color eye, exposure to the UV rays, overuse of sunbeds, genetic diseases, etc. It leads to blurred vision, dark spots in the eye, loss of peripheral vision, bulged growth in the eyes, etc. Its prognosis is good if it is limited to the eyes and not spread to the other parts of the body.

What Is The Most Common Surgery For Ocular Melanoma?

What Is The Most Common Surgery For Ocular Melanoma?

The surgery of ocular melanoma depends upon the size and location of the tumor. It also depends on the area of the cancer malignancy.(2) The surgical options of this cancer include-

  • Resection of the tumor which means complete or partial removal of cancerous cells from its original site
  • Enucleation which complete removal of the entire eyeball followed by placement of an orbital implant.(4)

For smaller tumors, common surgery selected is resection of cancer and some of the healthy tissue of the eye around cancer.(2) Most of the doctors approve this procedure. The most common surgery for tumors in the eyes, especially Iris, is the removal of cancer.(3)

For bigger tumors and cancerous growths that cause pain in the eye, the common surgical method used is enucleation, which means complete removal of the entire eye. After the eye is removed, an implant is placed in its location and connected to the eye muscles to facilitate the comfortable movement of the implant. When the patient is recovered from the surgery, an artificial eye (prosthesis) is fitted in its place. The prosthetic eye is custom painted that can match with the existing eye and provide a healthy appearance.(2)

Radiation therapy follows the surgery. It usually preferred to disturb the activity of the cancerous cells, stop its cell division, and destroy them. It would help to cease its spread to the other parts of the body.(1) However, both radiation and surgery can damage the vision in the eye.(2)

The complications of surgery for eye melanoma involve anesthetic complications appearing due to the anesthetic drug used, bleeding, and infections.(4)

Ocular melanoma or eye melanoma is rare cancer that appears in the pigment-producing cells of the eye. It commonly develops in the uvea, the layer present between the retina and white of the eye. This cancer can be categorized into two types. One is primary cancer that begins from the eye, and the other is secondary cancer that has started in different parts of the body and has spread to the eye. Usually, ocular melanoma is secondary cancer that has started in the skin and has spread to the eye.(5)

Uvea is the layer of the eye that comprises blood vessels traveling through the eye. This cancer also develops in other parts of the eyes, such as conjunctiva or eyelid. It grows mostly in older people age 70 years or above. It is more common in men than in women. It is represented by symptoms such as blurred vision in the affected eye, floating spots in the eye, dark spots on the iris, alteration in the shapes of the iris, bulging eye, flashes of the light, and loss of peripheral vision. It is usually treated with surgery and radiation therapy, like other forms of cancer.(1)


Ocular melanoma more commonly develops in Iris. The common surgery for this cancer is resection of the tumor from its original site. In the case of large tumors in the eye, the whole eye is removed, followed by implantation of a prosthetic eye and radiation therapy.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 20, 2020

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