Orbital Tumors and Fractures

If you have an orbital tumor or fracture, you likely want to ensure you are in the hands of a trusted and dedicated oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Dr. Slentz at The Medical Eye Center has the knowledge and experience to monitor and treat your orbital tumors or fractures.

What Is an Orbital Tumor?

Eye tumors are abnormal growths located on or around the structure of the eye. The orbit is the bony structure encompassing the eye, also known as the eye socket.

Eye tumors can be benign or malignant, meaning cancerous or noncancerous. Anyone can develop an eye tumor, including children or adults. 

Although most eye tumors are benign, they can inhibit the natural function of the eye and damage surrounding structures. Eye tumors can also metastasize from other places in the body. 

If the orbital tumor has metastasized from another part of the body, it means that the tumor did not originate in that location. In this case, it is likely caused by a type of cancer elsewhere in the body. 

Some orbital tumors can develop slowly, while others grow much faster. Orbital tumors that grow slowly often go unnoticed until they are large enough to catch your attention. 

Some common symptoms of orbital tumors are bulging of one or both eyes, droopy eyelids, eye pain, double vision, or a mass on the eye. Your eye doctor will likely ask you to have a CT scan or MRI to determine the characteristics and type of tumor.

These scans and images can give your eye doctor more information about the growth and help them determine the best way to treat it. There are many different types of orbital tumors, and they often vary greatly depending on someone’s age.

What is an Orbital Fracture?

An orbital fracture occurs when there is a break in one of the bones in the eye socket surrounding the eye. Orbital fractures can occur during a fall or in a car accident.

Most of the time, orbital fractures result from blunt force trauma to the eye or the structures around the eye. There are three main types of orbital fractures:

Orbital Rim Fractures

Orbital rim fractures are bones broken around the rim of the eye socket. Often, a significant amount of force is needed to create an orbital rim fracture.

Due to this, if someone has an orbital rim fracture, there is often damage to the eye itself that can possibly cause vision loss.

Blowout Fracture

A blowout fracture is when the bones on the floor or inside the eye socket are broken. In this eye socket area, the bones are very thin and fragile.

When these bones break, they can inhibit the normal function of the eye’s muscles. Blowout fractures do not require as much force and can be caused by any large object with speed.

Orbital Floor Fractures

An orbital floor fracture is similar to a blowout fracture but is specific to the orbital floor. This type of fracture can be caused by sports injuries, car accidents, or direct hits to the eye.

How Do Oculofacial Surgeons Treat Eye Tumors?

Once eye doctors determine the cause and type of the eye tumor, they will decide what treatment is needed. If the tumor is benign and not causing any symptoms, your eye doctor may continue to monitor it without treatment.

However, if a benign eye tumor is causing pain or vision changes, removing the tumor will often provide relief from those symptoms. If your eye doctor determines the eye tumor is malignant, they can remove it. You may need chemotherapy or radiation.

How Do Oculofacial Surgeons Treat Orbital Fractures?

If you have an orbital fracture, how it’s treated will depend on its size and severity. If an orbital fracture is small, surgery will likely not be required. 

Your eye doctor may recommend specific therapies like cold compresses to improve any symptoms like pain or swelling. If the orbital fracture is severe or inhibits the eye from moving or functioning correctly, you may need surgery. 

Your oculofacial surgeon will likely want to wait for the swelling to improve before moving forward with surgery.

Do you want to learn more about how oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeons treat orbital tumors and fractures? Schedule an appointment at The Medical Eye Center in Manchester, Bedford, or Nashua, NH, today!

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