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Eye removing process

Discussion in 'Research' started by Gryphos, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. Gryphos

    Gryphos Auror

    Context: in my story, as part of burial rites, the dead person has their eyes removed. I'm trying to write a scene in which a dead person has their eyes removed, but I don't know how to actually describe the process of removing the eye.

    How do you go about removing someone's eyes? What instruments would you use? And, in case I need this info later, how would one go about cutting out their own eyes?
  2. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    Wow, macabre.

    After a little searching, I learned that the modern term for eye removal is enucleation. You can do a search and find many articles on the process.

    I believe that eyeball removal is rather simple. Probably a medieval culture could easily use a spoon-like instrument to do it, particularly if a corpse is involved. There are some muscles attached to the eyeball, so maybe they'd first cut around the eyeball to separate them and then, after the eyeball is popped out, cut the optic nerve. Maybe there would be some type of forceps used.

    I just did a search for "enucleation set" and it pops up some sites showing pictures of the tools, for sale.
    Gryphos likes this.
  3. Umm....ouch.
    This place is so entertaining.
  4. Malik

    Malik Archmage

    I can do it with a ballpoint pen. It's all in the wrist.
    C. A. Stanley and Laurence like this.
  5. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    My grandmother once told me a story of a great-aunt, or great-great-aunt that was in a car accident and her eyeball popped out. The doctors just popped it back in, and everything was fine.
    Heliotrope likes this.
  6. RedMetalHunter

    RedMetalHunter Minstrel

    According to Ralphie's mom, all you need is a BB gun (A Christmas Story).

    From what I've seen and read, a sharpened spoon-like tool should do the trick.
  7. I'm just curious about why you would need to know how one would go about removing their own eyes...
  8. Gryphos

    Gryphos Auror

    In setting I'm writing, everything is about eyes, so I feel as though at some point someone might do an Oedipus or something.
  9. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

    Yes, I've been on rescue calls where eyeballs have popped out. It's gross, but they can be popped back in if the optic nerve is still attached.
  10. Holoman

    Holoman Troubadour

    I'd use a spoon, both on a body and myself (not that I would have the stomach for it lol)

    I'm gonna have nightmares about my eyeball popping out in a car crash now :(
  11. Every time I browse the research forum: Thank you, Mythic Scribes community, for my new recurring nightmare.
  12. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

    Hi Gryphos.

    I think that the easiest way to remove somebody's eyes would be to just pierce them, drain them until all of the liquid inside is gone and then just remove the rest by means of a small knife. The tricky part would be to remove the eyes as intact as possible, which would involve a sharpened spoon-like instrument in order to cut all the connections.

    Spartan warriors were known for gouging eyes out with their hands alone.

    Now, gouging out your own eyes would be a completely different story. It has happened in some severe cases of Schizophrenia after the voices ordered the person to do this, but I doubt that any person with a healthy mind would ever have the courage and self control to do such a thing to themselves.

    It could happen if your eyes are a source of unimaginable pain and you cannot take it anymore, perhaps.
  13. elemtilas

    elemtilas Sage

    On a living person:

    If you mean surgically? You'll need some small scissors for dissecting tissue and retractors for holding back the eyelids. You find the muscles (six, altogether), attach a suture to each (you don't want to lose the things!). Then, slide a special slotted spoon down into the orbit --- the slot goes around the optic nerve. You push the eye out of the way and use a really curved pair of scissors to snip-snip the optic nerve. Pull out the eye and you've got a nice cavity to fill!

    On a live person, you'll then pop in a spherical implant of the correct size (to replace the globe); attach the muscles to this implant in their correct locations and close up the tissue. Eventually, the patient will be fitted with a prosthetic eye that not only looks real (oculists are terribly good at painting eyes!) but also moves realistically because you sewed the muscles back the right way!

    Now, your average dead body is not really in the market for a glass eye and will not really be doing much looking about, so you don't really have to worry about all those niceties.

    On a dead body:

    Take one of those slotted spoons (look up "enucleation spoon") and sharpen the edge. Make a cut around the eye either with a knife or with the spoon. Gently wiggle it around to slice through the muscles. Gently slide it down and around until you feel the optic nerve at the back and wiggle it about to slice through that. Carefully lift the eye out.

    Of course, make sure the spoon isn't too small for the eye! I'm hazarding the guess that this culture would prefer intact eyes over mangled ones for its funerary rites!

    On yourself:

    Humans (normally) have too strong a self-protective urge to cause themselves serious harm. Examples have been given of people who might spoon out their own eye, but I think most people will never get that far. Probably would faint first (again, a self-protective reaction!).
  14. scribbler

    scribbler Dreamer

    It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye...
  15. Then it's hilarious.

    Oops, I think I got it wrong...
    scribbler and Michael K. Eidson like this.
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