Lacrimal gland tumor

Definition

A lacrimal gland tumor is a tumor in one of the glands that produces tears. The lacrimal gland is located under the outer part of each eyebrow. Lacrimal gland tumors can be harmless (benign) or cancerous (malignant). About half of lacrimal gland tumors are benign.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • Double vision
  • Fullness in one eyelid or the side of the face
  • Pain

Exams and Tests

You may first be examined by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist). You may then be evaluated by a head and neck doctor (otolaryngologist, or ENT), or a doctor who specializes in problems with the bony eye socket (orbit).

Tests most often include a CT or MRI scan.

Treatment

Most lacrimal gland tumors will need to be removed with surgery. Cancerous tumors may need other treatment too, such as radiation or chemotherapy.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outlook is most often excellent for noncancerous growths. The outlook for cancer depends on the type of cancer and stage at which it is discovered.

Images

Lacrimal gland anatomy

References

Bowling B. Orbit. In: Bowling B, ed. Kanski's Clinical Ophthalmology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 3.

Dutton JJ. Orbital diseases. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 12.

Karcioglu ZA, Haik BG. Eye, orbit, and adnexal structures. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 67.

Yanoff M, Cameron JD. Diseases of the visual system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 423.

Review Date: 
8/15/2017
Reviewed By: 
Franklin W. Lusby, MD, ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

Related Health Topics