Retinoblastoma is one of the ophthalmological pathologies that requires immediate treatment of the patient. Ophthalmology, contactology, psychomotricity… Numerous specialists are grouped around this rare eye disease, detected in children. The COP9 team of Dr. Stéphanie Zwillinger presents retinoblastoma and its consequences: surgery and ocular prosthesis.

Ocular prosthesis
Ocular prosthesis

What is the link between retinoblastoma and an ocular prosthesis?

This is a rare condition, occurring in about 15 out of 20,000 children, and usually appears before the age of 5.

Retinoblastoma is a cancerous eye disease. It affects the retina in children. This disease can lead to the need of an ocular prosthesis.

Several symptoms should alert you to the need to make an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist. You will find a list of signs (strabismus, decreased acuity…) in this article that should motivate you to make an appointment with a specialist.

Dr. Stephanie Zwillinger, a pediatric specialist, and her COP9 team inform you that the inpatient care will be provided at the ophthalmology department of the Institut Curie in Paris. This eye disease may require the child to undergo eye surgery under general anesthetic, with a hospitalization and a post-operative monitoring

But before we get to the point of eye surgery, the COP9 medical team invites you to learn more about retinoblastoma and its symptoms. In case of any abnormality in your child’s eyes, we invite you to quickly make an ophthalmology appointment on Doctolib.

Your eye care professional will perform the first functional explorations, such as an eye fundus or examine your eye pressure. During this ophthalmic screening, the visual acuity, the field of vision and the color vision are examined in further tests.

During this consultation, please think to mention any family medical history in order to give the specialist as much information as possible. The causes of retinoblastoma can be hereditary. Your practitioner will then diagnose your child, and suggest a medical and surgical approach if necessary.

As an additional source of information on retinoblastoma, we invite you to watch this video from Retinostop: in three minutes, you will learn the basics about this eye cancer, its impact on the eyeball, the optic nerve, and the fitting of an ocular prosthesis. To learn more, continue reading this article!

Ocular prosthesis after retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma is one of the eye diseases that can develop into tumors. In the case of a massive tumor, enucleation of the eye is essential. A team of specialists ensures the medical care of the child within the framework of surgical treatment. This surgical procedure consists of removing the child’s diseased eye.

The operation is performed under anesthetic, where the eye is removed from its orbit. Performed in an operating room, the medical team involved during the surgery is specialized in retinopathy and ensures a successful healing.

A prescription is given to the parents to make an appointment with an ocularist. Approximately one month after the operation, if the surgeon validates the stability of the child’s condition, the adaptation of the ocular prosthesis is arranged.

Understanding and accepting the implant can be a difficult step for the child. It is necessary to work together with the medical team and the family to present the ocular prosthesis. The prosthetic eye should look as similar as possible to the healthy eye, so that it can go unnoticed in everyday life.

Ocular implants are made to measure, especially for the wearer at every stage of his or her life.

Our advice on ocular prosthesis and retinoblastoma

Dr. Stephanie Zwillinger, reminds you of the importance of a pediatric ophthalmology consultation for all children with retinoblastoma. If needed, go to the ophthalmologic emergency department.

The treatment of cancerous diseases requires effective professional screening in advance, as well as coordinated medical support in order to avoid any complications for the child’s eye when an ocular prosthesis is fitted.

If ophthalmic surgery is required, you should consider rehabilitation with a psychomotor therapist. The COP9 Eye Center offers comprehensive vision care: our psychomotor team can meet all your needs.

Finally, feel free to join our social networks for more COP9 news: on our Facebook page or our Instagram, depending on your preferences!

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