The concept of an orbital “tumour” refers to when a “lump” appears between the eye and the bone. This “lump”, if deep, may not be touched, and is usually detected by the eye bulging outwards (exophthalmos) or by double vision. In other, rarer cases, it may bleed or become inflamed and produce other, more abrupt symptoms.

Once a lump is detected, imaging tests (CT and MRI) must be performed to establish a diagnosis of suspicion.

We can find ourselves with:

Related to malformations in the blood vessels. These are the most frequent. They are not true tumours, but are usually malformations or dilatations of the vessels. The most frequent is the cavernous haemangioma. When the haemangioma causes some kind of clinical symptoms, surgery is indicated. It is usually curative surgery with very good results and few complications. Other vascular pathologies that we may encounter are orbital varicose veins or lymphatic malformations, which are pathologies that do not usually require surgery, but if they do, it is usually very complex.

These are non-tumourous masses, but they can grow progressively. The most common are dermoid cysts, which are usually present from birth, but may appear directly in adulthood. When they are diagnosed, it is generally recommended to remove them with surgery, which is usually curative and with few complications.

There are different types of tumours. Surgery is generally indicated except for small tumours that do not grow and do not cause any symptoms. Surgery can be simple or very complex depending on their location, as they are sometimes very deep in the orbit, behind the eye.

They are less common. They can originate in the orbit or be a metastasis from any other tumor. Depending on their origin and size, they may require surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy.

The most important thing when faced with an orbital “tumour” is that it is assessed by a specialist with experience in the orbit, to establish a diagnosis of suspicion and, based on this, to establish an appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic plan, as the complications can otherwise be serious.


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