What Causes Orbital Tumors?

What Is An Orbital Tumor?

In both children and adults, a variety of neoplasms (tumors) can occur in the orbit (eye socket), around or behind the eyeball. They can arise de novo, from adjacent structures, or secondary to metastasis. Some grow slowly, and go unnoticed while others can grow rapidly; impairing vision and causing even greater problems. Symptoms range from none to eye pain/pressure, eye irritation and tearing, swelling, diplopia (double vision), and proptosis (protruded eyes).

Dr. Taban, board certified ophthalmologist in Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara, has written a textbook chapter entitled “Orbital tumors: examination techniques” in Clinical Ophthalmic Oncology, detailing the evaluation of orbital tumors.

The most common orbital tumors in the pediatric population are dermoid cysts and hemangiomas. The most common orbital tumors in adults are cavernous hemangiomas, metastatic disease, and orbital lymphomas. Other processes can also mimic a tumor such as Graves’ disease, inflammatory conditions, and infections. Dr. Taban has written several articles on orbital problems, including orbital infections with abscesses.

Symptoms of Orbital Tumors

Generally, one of the most common symptoms of orbital tumors and infections is exophthalmos, also known as the protrusion of the eye.  Sometimes, orbital tumors will also cause the patient to experience visual problems like partial to whole vision loss, blurry vision, or double vision. Smaller more mild tumors may cause a feeling of pressure near the eye socket, headaches, and moderate vision problems. If you suspect an orbital tumor may be to blame for symptoms your experiencing, it’s important to contact a board certified oculoplastic surgeon in Beverly Hills.

Detecting An Orbital Tumor

CT scans and MRI’s are the best method for detecting and differentiating these lesions prior to having surgery. A biopsy of the tumor is often required to diagnose the type of the tumor. Treatment options include radiation, chemotherapy and/or surgical removal, depending on the type of the tumor. For instance, the usual treatment for orbital lymphoma is radiation, while for cavernous hemangioma is surgical removal (when necessary). Dr. Taban has published many articles on using endoscopic technique for orbital tumor removal which may offer a better explanation of the procedure.

Who Should Treat Orbital Disease?

The orbit is a small, compact and complex structure. Oculoplastic surgeons have undertaken the extra training to deal with the nuances of treating orbital disease and injuries. When choosing a surgeon in Beverly Hills to evaluate and treat your orbital problem, look for an Ophthalmic Facial plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon who specializes in the eyelid, orbit, and tear drain surgery. Member of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) have the extra training required to care for these problems in children and adults. Membership in ASOPRS indicates your surgeon is not only a board certified ophthalmologist who knows the anatomy and structure of the eye and orbit, but also has expertise in ophthalmic plastic reconstructive surgery to appropriately care for your problem.

Dr. Mehryar (Ray) Taban is a board certified oculoplastic surgeon with offices in Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara.