Eyeball, Eyelid & Orbit Procedure Vocabulary

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  • 0:01 An Artificial Eye
  • 0:40 Orbitotomy, Kerato- &…
  • 2:06 Keratomy, Vitrectomy &…
  • 3:13 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

The cornea, conjunctiva, orbit, eye, and even fluid within the eye can all have procedures performed on them. This lesson will define many of these, such as vitrectomy, iridectomy, keratoplasty, and many others.

An Artificial Eye

I once came across a man who looked quite normal, frankly. Everything seemed very normal. Until, that is, I got a little bit closer and started speaking with him. I began to notice that one of his eyes simply didn't move at all, even though it looked very real. He had an artificial eye. One of his eyeballs had to be removed and an artificial one put in place.

While not everyone needs such radical procedures, be they due to trauma or disease, some do. This lesson covers some vocabulary that involves procedures that focus on the eyeball, orbit, and eyelids.

Orbitotomy, Kerato-, and Conjunctivoplasty

The man I met, let's call him 'Jim,' was a very nice person who had the horrific experience of being in a really bad car accident. When he was wheeled into the hospital, the doctors decided that he needed an orbitotomy to remove a foreign object. An orbitotomy is an incision into the orbit, the bony cavity where the eyeball sits. '-otomy' means to 'incise' (cut) into something.

What's more is his cornea, the transparent part of the eye overlying the colorful iris, was severely damaged in one eye. Thus, Jim also needed a keratoplasty, a corneal transplant, as a result. 'Kerato-' means 'cornea' and '-plasty' refers to the 'molding' or 'reshaping' of a body part into a certain form or for a certain function.

His conjunctiva, the thin membrane covering the eyeball and inner parts of the eyelids, also needed to be surgically repaired. The surgical repair of the conjunctiva is called a conjunctivoplasty.

To help his eye heal after all this, the doctors performed a tarsorrhaphy, the partial or complete suturing (sewing) of the eyelids. Meaning, one of his eyes was sutured shut, temporarily so, until his eye healed properly. 'Tars/o' refers to the eyelids in this case and '-rrhaphy' refers to the suturing of something.

Keratotomy, Vitrectomy & Iridectomy

Jim's other eye was unfortunately also badly damaged. In fact, he needed a vitrectomy, the surgical removal of vitreous humour from the eye, followed by its replacement with a solution. '-ectomy' is a suffix for the 'surgical removal' of something out of the body. The vitreous humour is simply this gel-like substance that fills your eye and actually helps maintain its spherical shape.

Unfortunately for Jim, some of the consequences from his accident only appeared later as he developed glaucoma and myopia (nearsightedness) in one eye and serious complications in the other. Because of these serious complications, one eye had to be completely removed and an ocular prosthesis, artificial eye, was placed.

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