When replacing an eye that has been lost, there are two critical team members.
The first is an experienced and board certified ocular plastic surgeon. If the eye has to be removed, the surgeon will perform an enucleation or evisceration.
After the eye has been removed, there are a number of surgical procedures that can be done to restore proper function to the remaining and surrounding structures (eye socket, eyelids) to provide the best possible setting for a prosthetic eye.
Now that the socket is ready, you must have an artificial eye designed. This is done by an ocularist.
What is an ocularist and how do you find one?
According to the American Society of Ocularists, an ocularist is “a carefully trained technician skilled in the arts of fitting, shaping, and painting ocular prostheses.” In other words, this is the person who will make an artificial eye for a patient.
Getting a custom eye that matches the remaining eye is crucial for a patient who has experienced eye loss, an emotional event.
Resources for evaluating and locating a skilled ocularist can be found on the Society’s website: www.ocularist.org