Basics of Eye Enucleation and Prosthetic Eyes

placing a prosthetic eye in eye enucleation patient

Eye enucleation is a procedure that might sound daunting but is essential under certain circumstances, such as severe eye injuries or conditions like tumours. It involves the surgical removal of the eye, paving the way for the use of a prosthetic eye.

Post-surgery, patients embark on a journey of adaptation and healing, both physically and emotionally. The next steps involve fitting and customising prosthetic eyes, designed to restore the appearance and, to some extent, the function of the natural eye.

Adjusting to life with a prosthetic eye can be a significant transition. However, with the right support and resources, many find renewed confidence. This article will guide you through what enucleation is, why it’s done, and what to expect after the surgery.

Understanding Eye Enucleation

Eye enucleation, the surgical removal of an eye, is a procedure undertaken for several serious conditions such as severe eye trauma, painful blind eye, or intraocular tumours. The decision to proceed with enucleation is significant and involves careful consultation with healthcare professionals.

The surgery itself involves removing the eye while leaving the eye muscles and remaining orbital contents intact, which allows for the fitting of an artificial eye that can achieve reasonable cosmetic results.

Types of Eye Enucleation

There are different types of eye enucleation procedures, each suited to specific circumstances:

  • Enucleation of the Eyeball: This traditional form of enucleation involves removing the entire eyeball but preserving the surrounding muscles and orbital structure.
  • Ocular Enucleation: Similar to the traditional approach it may involve additional removal of parts of the eye socket’s contents.
  • Eye Evisceration: This procedure involves removing the contents of the eye while leaving the scleral shell and sometimes the cornea intact, often used when there is a need to reduce pain in a blind eye while maintaining some eye structure.

Each type of surgery has its indications and is chosen based on the patient’s condition and the underlying cause necessitating removal.

Post-Surgery: What to Expect

After undergoing eye enucleation surgery, patients can expect an initial recovery period where the focus is on healing and managing discomfort. Typically, a temporary prosthetic is placed to allow the eye socket to heal properly. Once healing is sufficient, a custom-fitted prosthetic eye is made. These prosthetics are painted to match the patient’s other eye, ensuring a symmetrical and natural appearance.

Adjustment to a prosthetic eye varies among individuals. Initial sensations of discomfort are normal, and follow-up visits are crucial to ensure the prosthetic fits well and to make adjustments as needed.

Introduction to Prosthetic Eyes

Prosthetic eyes are not just about aesthetics; they play a crucial role in the psychological well-being of individuals who have undergone enucleations. Modern prosthetic eyes are made from high-quality materials that mimic the look and sheen of a natural eye.

At James H. Morphett, the custom creation of each prosthetic eye involves detailed craftsmanship, where every aspect of the iris and sclera is carefully painted to match the natural eye, offering not only visual harmony but also comfort.

Living with a Prosthetic Eye

Living with a prosthetic eye involves regular maintenance and care to ensure comfort and prevent infections. Patients are taught how to care for their prosthetic, including how to remove, clean, and reinsert it safely. Adjusting to life with a prosthetic eye also involves understanding how to handle social interactions and personal feelings about the change in appearance.

At James H. Morphett, we support patients through this transition with comprehensive care instructions and personalised follow-up appointments. Our goal is to ensure that each patient not only looks their best but also feels confident and supported throughout their journey.

Support and Resources

Adjusting to a prosthetic eye is a significant change that can come with challenges, both physically and emotionally. At James H. Morphett, we provide extensive support to our patients. This includes access to counselling services to help with the emotional aspects of eye loss and adjustment to life with a prosthetic eye. We also offer resources for connecting with others who have similar experiences, which can be incredibly validating and supportive.

Our team is dedicated to providing a compassionate and comprehensive approach to eye care, emphasising the importance of both physical recovery and emotional health.

By integrating these elements into your understanding of eye enucleation and prosthetic care, James H. Morphett continues to lead with both expertise and empathy, ensuring that every patient receives the highest standard of personalised care.


Eye enucleation and the use of prosthetic eyes represent significant aspects of ocular health care, addressing severe medical conditions with both functional and aesthetic solutions. At James H. Morphett, we are committed to guiding our patients through every step – from the initial decision for enucleation surgery to the lifelong journey with a prosthetic eye. Our approach ensures that each patient not only regains a semblance of normalcy but also feels supported in their adaptation to a new way of living.

If you have questions about eye enucleation or are facing any challenges, we encourage you to reach out to us, so that we can provide you with the expertise, compassion, and support tailored to your needs.