Change the Way you See the World!  (808) 677-2733

 

Choroidal Nevus

Common “choroidal nevus” occurs in about 5 to 10 percent of the population. A nevus, freckle, or mole can occur in the eye just like one can occur on the skin. Like the skin, the eye has melanocytes. Those are the cells that give the skin its pigment. The eye has a layer of melanocytes behind the retina in the choroid. If a number of melanocytes grow, they can form a nevus in the eye. These can only be seen by an eye care specialist who has the equipment and the skill necessary to view the back of the eye. A dilated examination is almost always necessary. Like a nevus on the skin, a choroidal nevus can grow into a malignant melanoma.

 

A choroidal nevus rarely requires treatment. Photography is typically used to document the size of the choroidal nevus. If the choroidal nevus has orange pigmentation, if the nevus is leaking fluid, or has a thickness of 2 mm or more, it may be (or become) a malignant choroidal melanoma.

Depending on its appearance, patients with a choroidal nevus should have their eyes examined every year. Currently, only your eye doctor can look inside your eye to see if the choroidal nevus has changed. If the choroidal nevus has orange pigment or has thickened, it should be checked more often. If a choroidal nevus is leaking subretinal fluid, this is a particularly ominous sign. Such nevi should be followed most closely for evidence of growth or malignant transformation into a choroidal melanoma. The risk of a choroidal nevus transforming into a choroidal melanoma is about 1 in 20,000.

Choroidal nevus is typically a “pigmented tumor” of the blood vessel layer (choroid) beneath the retina. A choroidal nevus is typically gray but can be brown, yellow, or variably pigmented. Your eye care professional will look to see if the choroidal nevus is raised (has thickness), has orange pigment (lipofuscin), or is leaking fluid (retinal detachment). If the choroidal nevus has one or more of these finding, it is labeled a suspicious choroidal nevus that might turn into (or be) a small choroidal melanoma.

If the choroidal nevus looks suspicious, it is reasonable to have an eye cancer specialist check it. This examination may include the use of ultrasound, specialized photography, or an intraocular angiogram. It is a good idea to keep a picture of your choroidal nevus. This picture can be compared to future examinations to help determine if the nevus has changed or stayed the same.

A choroidal nevus can have yellow-white spots on its surface called drusen. This is a sign that the choroidal nevus is preventing the eye from removing retinal waste products. It is also a sign that the choroidal nevus has been present for enough time for these products to accumulate. There are no studies that show how long it takes for drusen to form on a choroidal nevus.

A benign choroidal nevus requires no treatment and there is no way to safely remove them. Since a choroidal nevus can turn into a choroidal melanoma, it is reasonable to have it periodically observed by your eye care professional. Since skin and conjunctival melanomas have been linked to ultraviolet exposure, and since choroidal melanomas are more commonly found in patients with blue eyes, those with outdoor occupations, and those living in Australia (where there is an ozone hole), it is reasonable to wear ultraviolet (UV) blocking sunglasses. Think of sunglasses as “sun block for your eyes”.

 

The McMann Eye Institute is a comprehensive ophthalmology practice
offering a full spectrum of vision correction and treatment services.

McMann Eye Institute of Honolulu, Hawaii


McMann Eye Institute of Honolulu, Hawaii    McMann Eye Institute of Honolulu, Hawaii  
Ready for the next step?
Call Today (808) 677-2733
 IT'S TIME TO BOOK YOUR FREE,
NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION

The McMann Eye Institute understands how important your vision is to your life. Whether restoring, preserving, or improving sight, our eye doctors are dedicated to optimizing your vision so you can live your best. With doctors that specialize in LASIK, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye care, and cornea surgical treatments, we offer our patients an extensive range of eye care services on the island of O’ahu, Honolulu, Hawaii.

In addition to performing these life changing procedures, we can also help you with simple vision problems and provide preventative vision care for you and your family. Trusted by both patients and doctors, our excellent reputation speaks for itself as we strive to provide the highest quality care in a professional and compassionate environment.

OFFICE HOURS: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m  |  Saturdays 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  |  Sundays & Holidays Closed



McMann Eye Institute The Queen’s Medical Center
West O’ahu
91-2139 Ft. Weaver Rd. Suite 202
Ewa Beach, HI 96706
Phone: (808) 677-2733

McMann Eye Institute proudly serves Ewa Beach, HI and the Oahu areas of Honolulu, Waipahu, Aiea, Wahiawa, Kaneohe, Maunawili, Kahaluu, Kapolei, Iroquois Point and the remaining Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific Rim.

© 2018 All content is the property of McMann Eye Institute ™ & assoc. vendors. | DISCLAIMER | HIPAA | SiteMap
Website Powered and Developed by EyeVertise.com

Michael A. McMann, MD