Choroidal melanoma

"With epiescleral brachytherapy, local control of the disease is achieved in the majority of cases that are susceptible to being treated by means of conservative treatment".


Choroidal melanoma is a malignant tumor that grows on the choroid, which is the layer of the eyeball just below the retina.

Fortunately, in the vast majority of patients, the tumor is located exclusively in the eye.

However, being a malignant tumor after treatment, it is necessary to make a personalized follow-up for years to control the evolution of the disease.

We have advanced technology for the diagnosis of the disease, such as wide-field fundus cameras, optical coherence tomography (OCT) with angioOCT, autofluorescence and ophthalmic ultrasound with the possibility of ultrasonic biomicroscopy (BMU) for diagnosis and follow-up.


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What are the symptoms of choroidal melanoma?

Choroidal melanoma may not produce symptoms in the early stages.

In some cases, it produces visual symptoms that lead the patient to the ophthalmologist's office.

These symptoms can be varied, being the most common:

  • Decrease in visual acuity.
  • Perception of "flying flies".
  • Perception of "light flashes".

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have a choroidal melanoma

How is choroidal melanoma diagnosed?

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Choroidal melanoma can be diagnosed at a routine checkup where the fundus is explored, before it produces any visual symptoms.

In the case of a lesion that is ophthalmoscopically suspicious of melanoma, an exhaustive ophthalmological exploration must be carried out, as well as complementary tests.

How is choroidal melanoma treated?

We carry out a multidisciplinary management through the collaboration between ophthalmologists, oncologists, radiotherapists and other specialists of the Clinic involved in the care of this complex pathology.

In many cases, treatment can be carried out by means of radiotherapy that allows the affected eyeball to be preserved, and the epiescleral brachytherapy or proton therapy can be used.

Episcleral brachytherapy (external photon-based radiation therapy) consists of placing, under local anesthesia, a plate with radioactive seeds on the wall of the eyeball and allowing those seeds to act on the precise location of the tumor for the time that the radiation oncologists have calculated for each case. Once this time has elapsed, and also under local anesthesia, the plate is removed. Sometimes, it may be necessary to associate other treatments such as transpupillary thermotherapy.

Sometimes, the best option is the removal of the tumor along with the eye. In these circumstances, in the Clinic it will be possible to carry out at the same time the placement of an internal prosthesis with similar mobility to that of the eye that will allow, in the future, that this operation passes completely unnoticed.

Where do we treat it?


The Department of Ophthalmology
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Equipped with the latest technology, the Department of Ophthalmology has the necessary equipment, both technical and human, to offer comprehensive and specific assistance to each patient.

We are one of the few centers that have a microsurgery laboratory for the improvement of clinical practice.

Organized in specialized units

  • Cornea and eye surface
  • Retina
  • General Ophthalmology
  • Refraction defects
  • Oculoplastic
  • Pediatric ophthalmology
Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clinica?

  • More than 30 years of experience.
  • Experts in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular pathologies.
  • With the security and guarantee of a prestigious hospital.

Our team of professionals