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surgery for cyst on eye


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We've just joined the group, and this is our first posting. Hopefully you will be able to offer some experience/advice to help us with our beloved 8-year-old BC, Zap.


Zap had a very small cyst on the corner of his eye for about a year. It recently started to grow, and our vet referred us to a specialist. The opthamalogist checked Zap, and although the cyst needs to be removed, it is luckily only on the surface of the eye. The opthamalogist wants to perform an "Epibulbar Mass Excision w/ Histopathology" in order to remove the cyst and check for malignancy. The total cost of this procedure will be about $2500. In addition the specialist wants us to run radiograms on Zap's chest and abdomen to ensure there is no cancer there.


My question for this board is whether the opthamalogist's recommended procedure makes sense. Frankly, $2500 seems like a lot of money for the removal of a surface cyst which the opthamalogist suspects is benign. Of course we will do whatever it takes to keep Zap healthy, but we want to be wise in our decisions.


Any advice you can provide will be greatly appreciated. The surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug 26, so a quick reply is preferred.


Thank you. We look forward to participating on this board.


Susan & Eamon

(Zap & Jo)


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I have no experience with this type of growth, so I hope anyone who does will post a reply. In general, though, I have the same reaction you do. $2500 seems very high. I also question why the ophthalmologist would propose chest and abdominal x-rays before getting a pathology report on the excised cyst.


I think I'd get a second opinion if I were in your shoes. At the least, I would ask the ophthalmologist a number of questions:


What are the odds that this cyst is malignant? (guess you already asked that)

What will happen if the surgery is not done?

What will happen if the surgery is delayed?

Are there any alternative modes of treatment?

If the cyst is malignant and the surgery is performed, what is the prognosis, assuming distant metastisis is/isn't found?


In addition, if I had a good relationship with my regular vet, I would probably tell him what the ophthalmologist was proposing and the fee, and ask his opinion.


Sorry this isn't much help. I hope someone with more knowledge than I have will see your post today and reply before tomorrow.

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Guest totallyterry2003

I won't comment on the cost of the eye surgery but you could check out the cost with another ophthamologist.


I have had growths that were suspicious removed from my dogs (not on the eye), each time the vet requested the chest X-rays and abdominal area prior to removal. The thought process there may well be to determine if there is cancer and it has spread to other parts of the body. If the cancer is through out the body, it could also not be feasible to do the eye surgery. Also blood work is also done prior to the surgery.


This is not saying that it is probable that your dog has cancer.

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Just had a cyst removed from my houndX to the tune of $750.... ouch. she has three to five more that will require removal and we are budgeting her at one surgery per year.


Hers ruptured internally and created a really hard raised area (I thought it was cancer of the lymph nodes and was terifed) turns out she had a really huge autoimmune reaction to the internally ruptured cyst and it spread through out her shoulders, her scar is five and half inces long across her shoulders and neck from the middle to the right side.


we left it for awhile and it got worse, and we believe that is why her surgery was so long and expensive. she is fine now and doesn't seem overly bothered by any of it nor was she before the surgery.

I guess I'm telling you this to say, it sucks to be the parent doesn;'t it? you second guess your self, and hind sight is 50/50. had we acted more quickly we could have had all of the cysts removed for the same price and not worried as much, likewise we will be paying this off for quite a while! we did not opt for the full blood panel and work up just the regular one (half the price though in the long term itsn't not like it really mattered) we had it removed and then examined by a specialist to determine what it was... cheaper and it had to be removed any way. I think alot of the protocols are very good and necessary but at the same time if it all leads to the same place and procedure then perhaps some can be skipped. you have to trust in your vet and if in doubt ask for a second opinion!

good luck and go with your gut!


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