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How Can Enucleation Technique Help Remove The Damaged Eye

Enucleation is a surgical procedure that removes an entire eye that gets injured beyond repair. This technique is equally valuable for humans and pets. The complete eyeball is removed along with the optic nerve in this process. However, the tissues and the muscles remain intact. An artificial eye also called a glass eye, is inserted in the place of the damaged eyeball. Intact tissues and muscles are attached to the prosthetic eye (implant) to help the motility of the eyeball. Veterinary ophthalmologists can restore a pet’s eye closer to its natural appearance through this technique.

Moreover, damage to the brain, nerves, and other tissues can be prevented by completely removing the affected eye. Enucleation helps improve the quality of a pet’s life by relieving pain and minimizing further risk to general health. This technique is not effective for all eye disorders, but enucleation is necessary in case of irreversibly damaged, cancerous, or an eye affected by non-responsive glaucoma.

Enucleation Versus Evisceration 

These are eye surgery techniques for pets to remove the damaged eye. Enucleation and evisceration are the last options to relieve the pet’s eye suffering. The difference between these procedures is that enucleation removes the entire eye, eyelids, and optic nerve. Veterinary surgeons suggest this procedure when more than three extraocular muscles are torn. This technique helps preserve corneal deterioration. While with evisceration, only the damaged cornea and intraocular content are removed, and the white part of the eyeball remains intact. In place of the damaged cornea, veterinarians insert new cornea implants, which help restore the natural appearance of the pet’s eye. In addition, this method helps preserve the sclera and extraocular muscles attached to it that improve implant mobility.

Potential Risks Of Enucleation

Removing an entire eye can lead to many risks and complications. And with animals, it becomes more critical to avoid intra or post-operative risks. During the surgery, anesthesia may react, and the pet’s nervous system gets affected, leading to further complications. Bruising, bleeding, ptosis (a droopy eyelid), and reduced socket growth are the common risks pet may have to face undergoing enucleation. Superior sulcus deformity (a sunken appearance) and scarring of the socket are also potential risks. The most common complications following this surgery technique are extrusion and loss of the orbital implant.

Recovery and Healing Period After Enucleation

If the surgery is successful, the healing process is faster and smoother. Pets with one eye are not handicapped regarding their vision, mobility, or ability to function. Enucleation follows a quick recovery and healing process. Swelling may last for 1-2 days, but the animal gets normal after 48-72 hours of the surgery. Within months, the pet completely recovers and gets back to routine life. The healing period also depends upon the post-operative precautions. The more the pet remains comfortable, the faster it heals. One should not be careless to visit the surgeon if the pet feels any disturbance after the surgery. Proper medication can help improve the pet’s eye health faster.

End Of The Discussion

Enucleation for a pet’s damaged eye is not the first option to treat it. So, always consider other possibilities that can help improve your pet’s eye health. If your pet ultimately needs enucleation, avoid attending a common veterinary practitioner. Instead, visit the veterinary ophthalmologist to get your pet operated on successfully. Complete diagnosis and proper examination of the damaged eye are also necessary, so first, go for it. Always follow veterinarians' recommendations before taking any practical step regarding your pet’s health.