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May 1987

Enucleation and Orbital Ecchymosis

Author Affiliations


Arch Ophthalmol. 1987;105(5):618. doi:10.1001/archopht.1987.01060050036024

To the Editor.  —The technique of enucleation is explained in eye bank literature.1 We encountered a complication of enucleation that resulted in great distress for the family of the deceased.

Report of a Case.  —A 64-year-old man was accepted as a skin and eye donor after death from a myocardial infarction. As revealed by the patient's spouse, no hematologic problems were known, and the patient had not been receiving medication. Two and a half hours post mortem, the patient's eyes were uneventfully enucleated. At five hours post mortem, the patient was turned prone for one hour to allow skin harvesting. The mortician reported receiving the body with marked orbital ecchymosis and swelling. Despite a low-pressure transfusion of embalming fluid that required one hour, massive orbital swelling resulted. Periorbital skin redundancy (Figure) precluded an open casket, as decided by the family, despite the excellent cosmetic effort in covering the ecchymosis.