Out of sight, out of mind: MRI helps doctors find missing contact lens after 28 years

When a woman presented with upper eyelid swelling and ptosis, doctors ordered a MRI to get a better look. The MRI revealed a cyst, and when that cyst was surgically removed, a rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lens that had been missing for 28 years was found inside.

Information about the incident was first published in BMJ Case Reports 2018.

“An MRI of the orbit showed a well-defined ovoid nodule measuring 8 mm x 4 mm x 6 mm,” wrote Sirjhun Patel of NHS Tayside in Dundee, Scotland, and colleagues. “The features on the MRI were in keeping with a cyst with proteinaceous content. There were no radiological features of a foreign body seen within the cyst.”

So, how did the contact get there in the first place?

“On further questioning, the patient’s mother recalled that the patient had a history of blunt trauma to the upper left eyelid as a child,” the authors wrote. “The patient was hit in the left eye with a shuttle cock while playing badminton at the age of 14. The patient was wearing an RGP contact lens at the time, which was never found.”