Dr. Coster with Archie, one day after surgery.
You know how irritating a single hair in your eye can be? Well, imagine being born with a whole mat of hairs in your eye! That was the case for Archie, a Shih Tzu puppy, whose owner sought help from Angell veterinary ophthalmologist Dr. Martin Coster.
His condition was called a dermoid, which is essentially an area of skin that grows on the cornea during development, and is present at birth. If left alone, large dermoids such as Archie’s can cause a lifetime of discomfort, irritation, and even infections that can lead to blindness in the affected eye. The hairs also can impair vision, as they cover the surface of the eye.
When Archie was big enough for anesthesia at 4 months old, he underwent surgery to remove the dermoid. Under an operating microscope, Dr. Coster surgically removed the dermoid and patched Archie’s cornea, stitching a graft in its place to allow the area to heal.
At Archie’s one-week recheck appointment, he was doing very well. The stitches in his eye, which are much thinner than a single hair, were dissolving nicely. Although he will always have a small scar in his eye, it is off to the side and so his vision is excellent. He can now live his life free of irritation!
For more information about Angell’s Ophthalmology service, please visit www.angell.org/eyes, or call 617-541-5095 to make an appointment.
Archie’s right eye, pre-operatively.
Archie’s right eye immediately after surgery.