The eye orbit is the name given to the socket of the eye in which the eye and other associated parts of the anatomy of the eye are located. The eye socket also consists of ocular muscles and blood structures which supply blood to the eyes.

Orbital tumors can grow anywhere in the orbit or else can penetrate the eye orbit from the surrounding structures. The tumors can originate in the nasal cavity, the paranasal sinuses or the brain cavity. Sometimes, the tumors can also grow immediately on the bones and then intrude in the eye orbit area.

The various types of orbital tumors can be:-

  • Sarcomas
  • Lymphangiomas
  • Orbital meningioma
  • Metastatic lesions
  • Dermoids
  • Neurofibromas
  • Hemangiomas

Most orbital tumors, if detected well in time, are completely curable. They can affect both adults as well as children. However, if a tumor is not treated completely, complete vision loss may occur.

A procedure known as orbital tumor surgery or orbitotomy is performed to completely resect the tumor. As the anatomy of the eye is quite complex and consists of structures which are very small in size yet very vital for the functioning of the eyes, the surgery should be performed by highly skilled surgeon. If done incorrectly, the eyes can be affected due to direct or vascular damage.

The primary objective of orbitotomy is to preserve the vision of the patient. Also, the surgery ensures that the tumor does not metastasize to other parts of the body. In extremely rare cases, if the tumor is malignant or the treatment is delayed due to some reasons, enucleation may be required. To treat eye tumors, a team of highly skilled ophthalmologists are appointed along with plastic surgeons to treat the eye and to retain the aesthetics as much natural as possible. With modern medical advancements, the prosthetic eyes today look almost natural. Also, as prosthetics are attached to the muscles of the eyes, the move along with the healthy eye which gives an entirely natural appearance to the patient’s face.

Type of surgical approach used:-

The structures situated around the eye and the anatomy associated with it is quite complicated. Therefore, to ensure complete treatment and to minimize any collateral damage to the surroundings, tumor resections is generally carried out by a team of ophthalmologists as well as neurosurgeons. The approach during the surgery is decided according to the location of the tumor. The incisions may be made above or below the eyelids or a lateral approach may be employed. Depending upon how complicated and invasive the tumor is the surgery may take anywhere between six to eight hours. The resection procedure dies not only include removal of the tumor, but also reconstruction of the skull and the orbit region. Reconstruction may also be required in cases of grave’s disease or Paget’s disease.  Generally to achieve better results skin grafting is also done in which case the tissues are taken from the patient’s body itself. Many modern materials like porous polyethylene, hydroxyapatite cement etc. can be used instead of skin tissues. In extreme cases, repositioning of eye or eyelids may also be required. As the area for access to the tumors in most cases is limited, endoscopes are employed to ensure minimal damage to the neurovascular supply.

Post operative scenario:-

The rate of recovery differs from one patient to another. A patient may be generally hospitalized for one to two weeks. The patients are advised to take rest and not do any activities which may cause the eyes to strain. Today, modern medical marvels have made the procedures very less invasive, therefore even the scarring gets faded out in a period of six months to a year.


It is imperative to recognize and identify any abnormality pertaining to the vision and the eyes. Any person who experiences one or more of the following symptoms should immediately consult an ophthalmologist:-

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Vision loss
  • Constant watering or redness in the eyes
  • Bulging eyes or any abnormality ion the general look of the eyes
  • Constant feeling of fatigue in the eyes

If a person is experiencing any symptom, an ophthalmologist should be consulted immediately. As stated earlier, tumors of the eye orbit are completely treatable and in most cases benign, therefore the treatment should begin as soon as possible. However, one very crucial thing to be kept in mind is that, a person’s vision is extremely important therefore only reputed and highly skilled surgeons should be approached to perform the surgery.