A retinal specialist examined me in September, 2015. At this point, I should point out that I am an active duty member in the U.S. armed forces and am very fortunate to have medical care provided. If the military cannot provide the treatment, we are referred to the appropriate provider in the private sector.
The retinal specialist photographed the nevus and performed some scans that examined its surface and size. When he suspected that there may be growth in thickness, which is indicative of malignant transformation, he referred me to a civilian ophthalmologist who specializes in eye cancer and had ophthalmic ultrasound capability, which the military facility lacked. I thank him for taking prompt action.
The civilian ophthalmologist (Dr. Constance Fry) is fantastic! She took photographs and measurements and used ultrasound to examine the thickness of the nevus. Yes, the ultrasound was performed just like you would expect…the eye is numbed with drops, then an ultrasound wand is coated with a jelly and applied to the eye, where is it moved around to capture the shape of the nevus inside the eye. This did not involve any discomfort, it just felt a little weird. From this, the ophthalmologist was able to see the exact area of thickening and measure the thickness. It was only about 0.6 mm thick, which she said was not anything to worry about at this time. Apparently it only becomes a concern when it begins approaching 2.0 mm. Without any historical information, we didn’t know if it was stable or growing. However, I had other findings which were of concern: I’m a fair-skinned Caucasian, there is orange pigmentation present on the lesion, and a familial history of malignant melanoma on the skin. She said sometimes these things flare up and go back down, stop growing, or continue to grow.
She decided I should be seen every three months to track the lesion. So, the follow up appointment was given.