Enucleation: About Ocular Prosthesis Care

Q: How do I remove my prosthesis?

Ocular Prosthesis
Ocular Prosthesis

1) First, wash your hands.

2) Then you should place a towel over your lap or sink to act as a net for the prosthesis if it slips out of your hand. Should it fall it could scratch, break or get lost.

Manual Technique

3) Place one finger on the temporal (towards the ear) aspect of the lower lid on top of the cheek bone.

4) Look up.

5) Cup your other hand under your eye (to catch the prosthesis).

6) Gently press your finger in and pull the eyelid skin towards your ear (on that side).

7) The edge of your prosthesis will likely be emerging at the edge of the lower eyelid, or less likely it has fallen into your cupped hand.

8) If the prosthesis is just barely out, you can use a finger on your other hand to rotate it out of the socket.

9) Don’t be surprised if some discharge comes along with the prosthesis.

Suction Technique

1) Hard contact lens suction devices are commercially available in drug stores and vision centers.

2) These devices can be squeezed to create a vacuum that attaches the device to the front of the prosthesis.

3) Once attached, the patient can lift the bottom portion of the prosthesis out from beneath the lower lid, then slide the superior portion down towards the cheek.

Once the Prosthesis is Out

1) Commercially available sterile saline solution should be used to clean your eye socket.

2) Now you can consider cleaning the prosthesis.

Q: How do I clean my prosthesis?

1) Place the prosthetic eye into a container that can be filled with liquid as to cover the prosthesis.

2) Full or half strength hydrogen peroxide solution can be used to soak the prosthesis for 10 to 15 minutes. After soaking, remove the prosthesis from the container and rinse it with sterile saline solution.

3) Prosthesis cleaning is typically performed once or twice a week (as instructed by your eye care professionals).

4) Continuous and consistent periodic cleaning of the prosthesis will increase your comfort, decrease secretions, prevent secondary conjunctivitis and extend the life of your ocular prosthesis.

Q: How often do I need to have my prosthesis professionally cleaned or replaced?

1) You should return to your ocularist for professional cleaning and polishing 2 times each year.

2) Most patients get a new prosthesis every 3 to 5 years because even with excellent maintenance, the tissues around the prosthesis can change and the artificial eye can become scratched.

Warning

If you notice excessive discharge, swelling or irritation, you should call your eye care professional immediately.

For the more medically minded, you can go to a medical library, or order a copy of our comprehensive review of:

A Review of Enucleation
by Moshfeghi DM, Moshfeghi AA, Finger PT.

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