Orbital tumors can often be benign, particularly in the case of children. But it is important to identify the symptoms and visit an eye doctor for evaluation and removal of the tumor. In case of a malignant orbital tumor, timely diagnosis, and treatment can help to prevent the cancer from spreading to other body parts.
Orbital tumors may be permanently eliminated through surgery or other treatments if the symptoms are known and timely treatment is taken.
Cordial oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Hui provides eyelid surgery and other eye care procedures to patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Coachella Valley, Riverside, Redlands, Yucaipa, Loma Linda, and other communities and towns in this part of the nation.
Some of the common symptoms of orbital tumors may include:
- Eyeball bulging forward
- Flattened eyeball
- Tingling or numbness around the eye
- Inability to move one eye in sync with the other
- Vision loss or altered vision
- Pain in the eye area
- Drooping or swollen eyelid
The symptoms may not always mean an orbital tumor is present. Therefore, the patient with the symptoms should see an eye specialist if they suspect a tumor. The doctor will assess the condition carefully and advise the most appropriate treatment plan.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Orbital Tumors
A patient experiencing one or more symptoms of an orbital tumor may first reach out to an eye doctor. The doctor will use an ophthalmoscope (a handheld device the doctor uses to look into the patient’s eyes). This will enable them to look into the back of the eye and show signs that could suggest the presence of an orbital tumor.
An astute eye surgeon will be able to accurately determine whether orbital tumor is present, and will develop the best possible treatment plan in consultation with the patient.
The eye doctor may require the patient to go through a CT scan or an MRI to determine the precise size and location of the tumor, and assess the exact type of the tumor (such as hemangioma, meningioma, or sarcoma).
The CT scan or MRI is the first diagnostic tool, which usually helps the doctor to make an accurate diagnosis. In some cases, the doctor may order a surgical biopsy to identify the type of tumor accurately. A sagacious eye surgeon may sometimes be able to remove the complete tumor during the biopsy.
Depending on various factors, the doctor may choose to treat an orbital tumor with:
This is a non-invasive procedure where highly focused radiation beams are directed at the tumor to destruct it.
In this procedure, cancer-fighting drugs are administered either in pill form or IV drip to destroy the cancer cells.
Advances in Interventional Neuroradiology have enabled doctors to deliver cancer-fighting drugs directly in the location of the tumor in some cases. The procedure involves the use of super-selective intra-arterial infusion.
Here the drug is not directly delivered into the bloodstream, but threaded through a small catheter and infused to the tumor itself. This technique avoids the full-body toxicity of chemotherapy.
The orbit of the eye is a delicate and complex structure. Therefore, the surgery should be performed by an experienced surgeon with advanced training in removing orbital tumors.