In some people, an eye may be so severely damaged due to a disease or injury that surgical removal of the eye is the only treatment option available. Such a loss is psychologically as well as aesthetically debilitating for the patient. Socket reconstruction involves reconstruction of the normal eye appearance in patients that require removal of an eye using an array of surgical and non-surgical procedures.
Conditions that may require socket reconstruction include:
- Anopthalmos: A very rare condition of the eye indicated by a complete absence of ocular (eye) tissue within the orbit (eye socket) at birth; often a result of arrested ocular development in the critical fourth to seventh weeks of embryo development.
- Micropthalmos: A congenital condition of the eye characterized by the incomplete formation of the eye, leaving the infant with small eye(s). Thus, in microphthalmos, eye(s) that begin(s) to form during pregnancy do not develop fully, resulting in an eye with significantly reduced volume.
- Contracted socket: Is a condition characterized by small-sized fornices (loose arching folds connecting the conjunctival membrane lining the inside of the eyelid with the conjunctival membrane covering the eyeball) thereby creating difficulties in the retention of a prosthetic (artificial eye). This may be on account of several factors that include multiple socket operations, irradiation of the socket following enucleation (removal of a diseased or injured eye), severe socket infections/initial injuries, and surgery that may cause excessive destruction of the conjunctiva or formation of scar tissue in the conjunctiva.
The most common causes for socket reconstruction include congenital defects, trauma, cancer and scarring.
Socket Reconstruction Treatment
There are different treatment options available for socket reconstruction. The goals of treatment are listed below:
- Safe removal of the severely injured/diseased eye
- Reconstruction of the normal eye appearance to the maximum extent possible, keeping aesthetics in mind
- Restoration of eye function