Enucleation is the doctors word for “removal of the eye.” Over the years, Dr. Finger has worked to minimize the need for enucleation surgery as treatment for intraocular cancers. In treatment of choroidal melanoma (the most common primary intraocular cancer of adults), he has made great progress. In fact, our most recent survey at The New York Eye Cancer Center, Dr. Finger had to remove less than 6% of eyes to cure their intraocular melanoma. Therefore more than 94% of intraocular melanoma patients treated by Dr. Finger are able to keep their eye and at least some vision. For his most recent results visit our success rate page at (DRO).
For the less than 6% of patients that require removal of the eye as treatment, Dr. Finger has also made improvements. For example, these tough cases sometimes have tumor that has grown out of the back of the eye called, “extrascleral extension.” In these cases, enucleation may not be enough and radiation is added to treat any cells left in the orbital tissues. Based on his prior experience with external radiation of these tissues, Dr. Finger developed a method to implant the radiation in an effort to preserve the patients eye brows and eyelashes. He notes, “putting the radiation in the orbit has increased the treatment where it is needed with fewer cosmetic side effects.”
Careful attention to improvements in enucleation surgery has led Dr. Finger to use integrated orbital implants and attach the muscles in the conjunctival fornices. These changes have improved patients ability to be fit with ocular prostheses (cosmetic eyes) and improve its movement.