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If you’re interested in getting a diagnosis or treatment for an orbital tumor, Dr. Sean Paul can help. As a skilled and highly regarded ophthalmologist in Austin, Texas, he has the ability and expertise to diagnose and treat both malignant and benign orbital tumors.

What are orbital tumors?

An orbital tumor refers to any tumor that is found within the “orbit” of the skull's socket that contains the eye. These tumors can be either benign or malignant, and often develop in children as well as adults. Symptoms include:

  • Bulging forward of the eyeball
  • Flattened eyeball
  • Numbness or tingling around the eye
  • Lack of ability to move eyes in sync
  • Vision loss or changes
  • Pain around the eye
  • Swollen or droopy eyelid

Risks of orbital tumors

As these tumors slowly enlarge, the eye bulges forward and eye movement may be limited. While many of these tumors are benign, malignant orbital tumors are often aggressive and can potentially be life-threatening. Even benign orbital tumors may cause vision loss, double vision, and significant eye and orbital damage owing to their size and location.

Orbital tumors can be a serious threat based on factors related to diagnosis, size, and location. Some can even represent a serious life-threatening process. When treated with correct surgery, they can be accurately diagnosed and removed within the scope of maximizing patient safety. It is imperative to recognize that these tumors may cause vision loss and double vision, and that surgery may not be able to prevent this depending on diagnosis, location, and size of the mass.

Diagnosis of orbital tumors

Management of orbital tumors usually requires a sophisticated diagnostic evaluation including orbital CT scan and occasionally MRI studies. Surgery is usually required to establish the correct diagnosis and rule out malignancy.

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Removal of orbital tumors

Ultimately, the scope of tumor removal will depend on the diagnosis, natural history of the tumor, and the ability to safely remove the tumor while avoiding damage to essential orbital structures in the process. The type of incision will be predicated on the size and location of the tumor, and can be variously performed through a lateral incision. 

This incision can be made with or without bone removal, medial incision, orbital floor incision, orbital roof incision, transconjunctival incision, or endoscopic (through a surgical scope via small incision) approach. These techniques can be utilized separately or in combination. Orbital tumor excision is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis.

Recovery

Pain is minimal after surgery, and no patch is required. Patients simply use antibiotic ointment at bedtime for approximately ten days. Sutures are removed seven to ten days following surgery in our office. Minor bruising or swelling may be expected, and will likely go away in one to two weeks. Bleeding and infection, which are potential risks with any surgery, are relatively uncommon. Depending on the diagnosis (i.e., the degree of tumor aggressiveness), tumor location, and size, potential risks include vision loss, double vision, incomplete tumor excision, and/or spread.

Schedule a consultation with us

If you would like a diagnosis for an orbital tumor or would like to learn more about your treatment options, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Sean Paul by calling 512-559-3544or contacing us online

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