Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
I am a 22-year-old female and ever since I was 4 years old I have had a nevus on the sclera of my left eye. It is on the left side of my iris. It is mainly brown and sometimes it gets red. I do not feel pain, but it does bother me. I feel my left eye is a weaker than my right eye. When I was 8, I did have an eye injury which made my left eye bloodshot. I did notice that ever since that accident the mole did get a little bigger. I do not have any other issues, nor medical problems. My question is could this be serious? Would I need surgery to remove it and how much would cost range? I know I cannot get an exact price, but I would like to have a better idea of the average cost.

Answer:
The nevus is more likely in the substance of the conjunctiva but could be in the sclera if an ophthalmologist has identified it in that location. These are benign although we watch them for changes. It is unrelated to your injury at age 8. Surgery is not necessary unless the unlikely event of change occurs. You could have it cosmetically removed or altered. This would require surgical excision, but some are sensitive to argon laser treatment. This procedure would probably be in the range of $800 to $1,500 depending upon what is done and who does it. The excision may be covered under your insurance policy to rule out melanoma, although this varies with different carriers, of course. Check with an oculoplastic surgeon or a corneal surgeon for the best information.

Answered by: Richard Bensinger, MD Dr. Richard Bensinger

Categories: Eye Conditions, Eye Surgery

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Answered: Jun 13, 2013

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