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Believe it or not, this is one of the most common questions I get from patients who are going to have eye surgery. People must think that in order to perform eye surgery, the ophthalmologist must take the eye out of their head, do whatever surgery that is planned, and then put the eyeball back into their head.
I assure you that this is NOT the case. We most certainly leave the eyeball IN your head when we perform eye surgery. This is true for cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery, cornea/LASIK surgery, pediatric strabismus surgery, and retina surgery. In order to take the eye out of one’s head, we would have to cut the optic nerve. If that happened, the eye would never see again because there is no way of reconnecting it.
There is some “play” in the optic nerve. The nerve has a bit of extra length so that it is not taught in your eye socket. This allows the eye to move around unrestricted without pulling on the nerve. Rarely, the eyeball can actually come out of the eyelids from trauma or by conscious control. But these are the exceptions, and not the norm. And ophthalmologists certainly don’t pop your eye out for routine surgery.