What does the treatment involve?
It involves complete resection of a tumoral lesion located in the intraocular space. The advantage is that it completely removes the tumour and, in addition, it allows us to analyse its cell pattern in the laboratory, unlike other destructive techniques such as radiotherapy. These surgical procedures are highly specialised.
What are its indications?
Currently, due to the use of other treatment techniques like episcleral barchytherapy, the surgical procedure has been limited to the treatment of different types of very specific tumours located in the iris or the ciliary body.
Surgical techniques are also used for ab externo or ab interno removal of tumours of the back part of the eyeball.
How is it performed?
The ab externo surgical approach is performed on the white layer of the eye (the sclera) and the tumour is removed in one single piece with very specialist microsurgery techniques.
In the ab interno technique, the tumour is destroyed and aspirated inside the eyeball itself. It is a technique that basically uses certain melanomas of the posterior uvea and it is always combined with an episcleral brachytherapy to irradiate possible cellular remains at the base of the tumour.
The results are good in the sense that this technique eliminates the tumour completely and the eye still has a varying degree of vision.
The postoperative period is usually tedious due to the inflammation caused by the surgery and, in general, the patient will reach their final level of vision after a few months.
Depending on the location of the lesion and the technique used, an induced astigmatism, displacement of the pupil, cataracts, postoperative haemorrhaging, hypotonia or ocular hypertension or visual sequelae may occur. In these cases, you must undergo a very close clinical follow-up to identify and treat any complications.
Professionals who perform this treatment
Frequently asked questions
Although I've had my malignant tumour completely removed, should I continue to have check-ups on my general health?
Yes, this is the case with uveal melanoma. In all cases, we recommend a general examination before treatment and, even if all the extensive tests come back negative, you should still continue to undergo check-ups afterwards depending on what your oncologist indicates. One single cell, undetactable in the pre-operative period, could be circulating in your bloodstream and in the future it could be dwelling in an organ in the form of metastasis.