Sometimes after an eye has been removed due to a tumor located in the eye, severe eye trauma, or severe pain due to a blind eye, the eye socket may undergo changes such as scarring, loss of volume, or shifting of an orbital implant, that make it difficult to wear an ocular prosthesis - also known as an artificial eye. An oculofacial plastic surgeon may be able to reconstruct the eye socket to allow the ocular prosthesis to fit comfortably and function well. 


Many different techniques may be used to reconstruct the eye socket to allow a prosthetic eye to fit well. These include:

Mucous membrane grafting - this procedure consists of taking a piece of the lining of the mouth, and grafting it into the eye socket to replace tissue that has shrunk due to scarring. The lining of the mouth is ideal because the tissue is similar to the lining of the eye socket. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and there is minimal discomfort afterwards. 

Dermal fat grafting - This procedure consists of taking a piece of fat and overlying dermis (the layer just underneath the surface of the skin) from a hidden area of the trunk, and grafting it into the eye socket. A dermal fat graft replaces lost volume and lost surface area due to scarring. The procedure is performed under sedation or general anesthesia, and has minimal discomfort afterwards. 

Amniotic membrane graft - Processed amniotic membrane may be used to replace lost surface area in the eye socket due to scarring. 

Replacement of orbital implant - If imaging shows that an indwelling orbital implant is too small, it may be replaced with a larger one. 

Reconstructive eyelid surgery - Eyelid deformities may occur with volume loss or scarring in an eye socket. Eyelid deformities may be addressed surgically, usually after the eye socket issue has been resolved. 

Our doctors will discuss their assessment with you and go over your personal plan and what to expect after surgery during your preoperative visit.