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Orbital Tumor Removal in Denver: Most common diagnoses

Along with cosmetic eyelid surgery one of the procedures that Dr Thiagarajah performs is eye socket or orbital tumor removal. I have had patients from Vail, Steamboat Springs and Colorado Springs come to Denver for eye socket tumor removal when they couldn't find an ASOPRS certified eye socket surgeon near where they live.

There are uncommon situations where someone in Denverdevelops a tumor in the eye socket. Tumors in the eye socket are scary things. The eye socket is the bony box that holds the eye, its muscles, and nerves. Tumors or cancerous growths can develop there. Sometimes the symptoms are vision loss or double vision but commonly early on while the tumor is growing there may be no symptoms at all. These are the three most common tumors in the eye socket that Dr Thiagarajah treats.

Orbital Metastasis

One of the most common growths in the eye socket are cancers that have spread from other parts of the body. For men lung cancer and prostate cancer are common whereas in women breast and lung cancer are the most common cancers to spread to the eye socket.

When there is growth in the eye socket that is a metastasis or cancer that has spread from another part of the body, the most important step in treatment is to treat the underlying cancer. So in a female patient with breast metastasis, treating the breast cancer with radiation and or chemotherapy can commonly even shrink the cancer in the eye socket! It is less common to have to excise or remove the cancer from the eye socket manually through surgery. Chemotherapy and/or radiation can usually shrink the tumor. In patients in Denver with eye socket cancer that is a metastasis that is the first step.


Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that can commonly occur in the eye socket. Lymphoma is usually diagnosed by a bulging of the eye socket. This can cause the eye to appear “pushed out”. A biopsy is performed to determine what the mass is and if it is lymphoma, the patient must be examined by an oncologist to search for lymphoma in the rest of the body. The treatment for lymphoma includes radiation, chemotherapy and even antibiotic.

There are some cases where lymphoma of the orbit regresses after treatment with doxycycline. We are not 100% sure how or why that is.

Cavernous Hemangioma

A Cavernous hemangioma is a benign growth of blood vessels in the eye socket. It is the most common benign growth in the eye socket. A Cavernous hemangioma is treated with removal. This is done through an approach through the eyelid commonly. Usually the tumor is removed en toto or as one piece. In patients in Colorado with eye socket tumors, we commonly follow these patients before and after the surgery to make sure there is no regrowth.

Tumor removal in the eye socket is a delicate process. Even with the best care, orbital surgery carries the risk of vision loss, double vision, bleeding, scarring, infection, recurrence and the need for more surgery. Eye Socket surgeons certified through ASOPRS or the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic Surgeons are uniquely trained to perform orbital surgery and remove orbital tumors. As an eye socket surgeon and neuro-ophthalmologist, Dr Thiagarajah is uniquely trained in double specialties to treat orbital tumors.

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