Tumor Around the Eyes!

What is an Orbital Tumor?

A 'tumor' is any abnormal growth of tissues in our body. Like any other part of our body, tumors can arise within structures that are close to the eye, such as eyelid, orbit, or the bony socket that protects the eye. While any of them can be loosely called as a 'tumor', it can either be non-cancerous (benign) or a cancer. In this section of orbital tumors, we shall understand tumors that appear behind or around the eye, causing protrusion of the eye. We shall also look at some of the surgical results

Is it a Cancer?

The biggest worry in any orbital mass is to know whether it is cancerous. Most orbital tumors are benign (non-cancerous), painless, and slow growing masses.They gradually increase in size, leading to forward protrusion of the eye. Cancerous orbital masses are usualyl fast growing, and occur in the elderly.  The oculoplastic surgeon can determine whether its cancerous by its duration, appearance, and imaging (CT scan). hence, seeing your eye doctor is very important.


Management of any orbital tumor depends upon whether it is likely to be benign or cancerous. Well-localized benign tumors are often removed completely, using minimally invasive techniques via hidden incisions. Though orbital tumors can also be removed by a neurosurgeon via a 'brain-surgery' approach, it is far less invasive to get it done from an orbital surgeon.  Histopathological confirmation is the best way to ensure complete removal and to know the exact diagnosis. Reconstruction of the orbit after removal of the mass is dependent on the size and location of the defect. Various reconstruction options are available.


Surgery for orbit tumors vary in their complexity and duration based on the location and extent of the tumor. All orbital surgeries are performed under general anaesthesia, with a minimum 1 day stay in the hospital. Small tumors can be removed within an hour, whereas large tumors require longer surgeries. Stitches if any, are removed in 7-10 days. Most patients are back to light work within a week or two. Minimal bruising may persist for 2-3 weeks.
Removal of orbital tumors is performed by the minimally invasive techniques. It involves specialized care since the function of the eye has to be preserved while providing the best cosmetic result.


Health insurance will cover the costs of cancer surgery.

Other procedures

Other commonly performed reconstructive procedures include correction of

Before and After photos


Dermoid cysts are common in children, and can be removed through an incision hidden within the eyelid fold

 A young girl with left orbital benign tumor. Removal was performed from behind the eyelid, to avoid a skin scar.

A young lady with an orbital inflammatory mass causing protrusion of left eye. Tumor was removed with a scarless technique, giving her normal appearance.

 A young lady with a large lymphangioma of the left orbit. The tumor was removed via hidden incisions.

A middle-aged lady with a benign tumor behind the right eye. Tumor removal was performed by minimally invasive technique via hidden incision technique.