Surgical treatment of iris and ciliary body melanoma: follow-up of a 25-year series of patients


Professor Jan U. Prause
Eye Pathology Section
Institute for Neuroscience and Pharmacology
University of Copenhagen
Frederik V’s Vej 11
DK 2100 Copenhagen
Tel: + 45 3532 6070
Fax: + 45 3532 6080


Purpose:  To evaluate outcome of surgical resection of iris and irido-ciliary melanomas.

Method:  Retrospective analysis of all cases treated in Denmark 1975–1999 with clinical follow-up in 2002 and death certificate analysis in 2008. A quality of life questionnaire was completed at follow-up.

Results:  A total of 53 patients were identified. Of these, 47 were examined at follow-up. Median observation time was 7.15 years (range 0.3–27.4 years). Five patients had died of nonmelanoma causes, and one could not be reached because of immigration. None of the patient had melanoma metastases, and none had died of melanoma-related causes. Only one patient had a local recurrence, which was successfully treated by cryotherapy. The quality of life-related questions demonstrated that most patients (40) suffered from photophobia, and eight patients had changed their driving habits, not driving at night time. However, none had changed job as a consequence of the surgical treatment. Only two patients were emotionally affected by the diagnosis of iris melanoma.

Conclusion:  Resection of small iris and irido-ciliary melanomas is a safe and efficient procedure, provided that strict diagnostic and surgical procedures are followed and the preoperative intraocular pressure is normal.