Orbital tumours

The word “tumour” means a lump or swelling – and these can sometimes occur in the eye socket (also known as the “orbit”). Tumours are usually benign, irrespective of whether they occur in childhood and in adulthood. But there are also harmful, malignant forms, and the most common forms of eye cancer in adults are lymphoma, and metastases from other tumours. These forms can also be found elsewhere in the body, but again, fortunately, these are rare occurrences.

Benign orbital tumours

Benign tumours in the eye socket are often congenital, growing slowly from birth, and typical include dermoid cysts (a cyst filled with skin components, including fat) and haemangioma, a benign vascular tumour where a small collection of blood vessels form, that can grow significantly after birth. Benign tumours can also develop later in life and can occur in any of the different types of tissue in the orbit.
 

Typical appearance of child with dermoid cyst of the orbit (right eye, left on picture)

Malignant orbital tumours

A malignant tumour in the orbit occurs when body cells divide without inhibition. Sometimes this is caused by a defect in the patient’s immune system, or through genetic mutations. The cells continue to increase in number and form a lump in the orbit that may press on the eyeball and/or cause double vision. Malignant cells can spread through blood vessels or along nerves to other places in the body (where they form elsewhere, these tumours are called metastases).

A rare malignant orbital tumour in childhood is rhabdomyosarcoma, which grows fast and needs urgent treatment. Lymphoma is the most frequent primary malignancy of the orbit in adults, but metastases from tumours elsewhere in the body can also start to grow in the orbit.

Symptoms of orbital tumours

The symptoms of the different types of orbital tumour are:

  • protrusion of one or two eyes;
  • movement of an eye to the outside / inside / above / below;
  • double vision;
  • disturbed vision;
  • usually painless, sometimes painful.

 

Techniques

The thought of having a lump near to the eye can cause patients a lot of anxiety. If your doctor or ophthalmologist refers you to ELZA for an examination, you will quickly know what the situation is. In addition to extensive ophthalmic examinations, we often request additional imaging from a nearby radiology department. we can assess the size and location and tissue characteristics of the tumour, with a special scan of the head. When choosing a treatment, we not only look at the type of tumour, but also at your overall health.

The treatment of a benign or malignant tumour in the orbit differs. Benign orbital tumours can usually be treated by complete excision.

 

Hidden incisions

Our surgeons prefer to remove lesions with maximal preservation of cosmesis. Incisions are made in the natural skin folds so that scars are best concealed, hence the term “hidden incisions”. We then examine the “biopsy” – the piece of tumour removed – to see what type of tumour it was, and whether it was malignant or benign.

What if the tumour appears to be malignant after the biopsy? Then our eye surgeons, in collaboration with a team of other specialists provide treatment. In addition to surgery, radiation therapy (radiotherapy) or chemotherapy may also be required if the tumour is malignant. Because our specialists have a great deal of knowledge and experience in treating both benign and malignant orbital conditions, the operating results are generally very good.

Pseudotumours

There are also so-called “pseudotumours” in the orbit, which occur mostly in adults. A pseudotumour is a benign accumulation of inflammatory cells and looks like a swelling. This inflammatory swelling is usually treated with medication, and sometimes an examination by an internist might be necessary to see whether inflammation also occurs elsewhere in the body.

 

Investigations

It is often not clear from the tumour itself whether it is malignant or not. That is why we often take a biopsy for tissue analysis by a pathologist.

 

Imaging

A special scan of the orbits is made to examine the expansion and location of any swelling in the orbit. This scan is made in a radiology department.

CT scan showing a tumour in one of the orbits – horizontal line shows the width of the lesion. 

Key terms

Biopsy

We carefully remove a small piece of the tumour. This is called a biopsy. This piece is examined microscopically. This way we can see if the tumour is malignant or not.

 

Facial pictures

The ophthalmologist will photograph your eyes and face, before and after treatment, for documentation. 

PREVIOUS
Our results – Orbital decompression
NEXT
The Artificial Eye

The ELZA Institute

EN | DE

Augeninstitut ELZA
4.8
Based on 107 reviews
powered by Google
Serena Fazio
Serena Fazio
11:15 06 Mar 22
I have been to the ELZA clinic to have surgery for my miopy, as my eyes were rejecting the contacts and I was tired of... wearing glasses. From the first preliminary visit, to the actual surgery and post-surgery care Dr. Hafezi and all his collaborators have been extremely professional, considerate and helpful. All the steps of the (very short!) surgery were thoroughly explained to me in order to be as calm as possible, together with the medication plan and precautions to be aware of so that my eyes could heal in the best way possible. By following their exact instructions, the healing process has been very successful and smooth, and after about one week I was able to see perfectly. I absolutely recommend this team and their expertise!read more
Robin A
Robin A
11:43 16 Feb 22
Top experts and professional team. Highly recommended
Thunder Shiviah
Thunder Shiviah
14:05 23 Nov 21
After some research on local options I decided to go with ELZA since it stood out as the best. The operation and the... post-operation recovery went extremely smooth (something I was worried about with PRK). Now my vision is much better than I had hoped and I have no side effects such as dry eye or night vision problems. Thank you!read more
Squitieri Elias
Squitieri Elias
12:43 08 Sep 21
Die Behandlungen waren bei mir erfolgreich, alle waren sehr nett und haben mein Leben vereinfacht.Danke
Eliane Bossart
Eliane Bossart
13:01 05 Sep 21
Vor einem Jahr war ich einer ganz verzweifelten Situation und total im Stich gelassen. Meine Augen wurden aufgrund... eines ausgeprägten Kerakotonus immer schlechter, ich hatte Angst und war alleine mit meinen Problemen. Zudem vertrug ich die Kontaktlinsen nur noch ganz schlecht und hatte jeden Tag Schmerzen.Professor Hafezi hat mir mit zwei Operationen wieder das auf Grund der Situation mögliche an Lebensqualität zurückgebracht. Es war ein starpaziöses Jahr mit vielen Entbehrungen aber es hat sich gelohnt! Herzlichen Dank fuer die Unterstützung.read more
Gabriela Meyer
Gabriela Meyer
18:32 22 Aug 21
Ich wurde von meiner Optikerin auf Prof. Dr. Dr. Hafezi aufmerksam gemacht. Es war mir vorher nicht bewusst, dass meine... Augenkrankheit (Keratokonus) operativ mittels Cross Linking behandelt und so gestoppt werden kann. Die Beratung und Behandlung war sehr kompetent und ich fühlte mich jederzeit wohl. Die Operation verlief gut und das Ergebnis ist einwandfrei.read more
Naomi
Naomi
11:38 11 Aug 21
Ich bin sehr glücklich, dass ich das Elza Institute gefunden habe. Ich wurde von anderen Augenärzten abgewiesen, da... meine Augen zu kompliziert/schwierig zu behandeln waren. Prof. Dr. Dr. Hafezi konnte mir jedoch helfen und ich bin sehr glücklich und zufrieden mit dem Resultat. Vielen Dank!read more
Till B
Till B
08:30 19 Jul 21
Ich habe eine überaus kompetente Beratung und Behandlung erlebt. Die gesamte Betreuung war sehr freundlich und... professionell. Herzlichen Dank!read more
Thomas S.
Thomas S.
09:37 07 Jul 21
My left eye had to be operated on because of a cataract. As I had an Artiflex lens implanted a few years ago, it had to... be removed first before a modern lens could be implanted to correct the cataract. Prof. Hafezi treated me in an very competent and friendly manner. I am very happy with the result.read more
Selma A. Rahim
Selma A. Rahim
19:45 02 Jul 21
Dr. Hafezi.. the KING OF CXL🤴
Gianluca Ricci
Gianluca Ricci
12:46 10 Apr 21
Great team and service!
rehaneyecare
rehaneyecare
05:36 08 Apr 21
Excellent surgeon
Steven H.A
Steven H.A
16:13 11 Jan 21
Prof. F. Hafezi s expertise is enormous and he has a very pleasant and calm nature which gives the patient... security.Thank youread more
Online Commande
Online Commande
09:19 05 Dec 20
Totally creepy, very arrogant Prof.He just want your money.It may explain, why this Prof. is not in the center of the... city of Zürich and why he has been thrown away from University of Geneva.read more
Elena Churilova
Elena Churilova
10:06 17 Nov 20
At the moment, 3 months have passed since the moment I made laser vision correction in this clinic. and I can say that... I am happy that I chose this particular clinic and Prof. F. Hafezi. The entire staff of the clinic is very friendly, treats patients with sympathy and patience if they are nervous before surgery (my big gratitude to Aida Alili for all support and patience). The doctor Hafezi and other doctors of the clinic are very professional and ready to explain to you as many times as you need. I can only recommend!read more
Ashley Faulkes
Ashley Faulkes
15:30 21 Mar 16
Professor Hafezi and the team at the ELZA Institute have done an amazing job of creating a first class eye clinic, with... cutting edge technology and support. I went there for a dry eye issue and other issues with my prescription, and they were easily able to help me and put me on the road to better vision! High recommend them to anyone in the Zurich/Aargau area.read more
Next Reviews
js_loader
Augeninstitut ELZA
4.8
Based on 107 reviews
powered by Google
js_loader