Orbital Decompression (Graves’ Disease)
What is Orbital Decompression?
The primary goal of an orbital decompression surgery for thyroid eye disease is to create more space in the orbit to allow the eye to return to a more normal position.
The indications for orbital decompression include:
- Compressive optic neuropathy
- Spontaneous globe prolapse
- Discomfort due to orbital pressure/pain
- Orbital congestion
- Preoperative assessment
- A full ophthalmic and orbit work-up including measurement of the extent of protrusion of the eyeball are carried out. External photographs are taken, including full face and profile views, and a view from above and below showing the amount of globe protrusion.
All patients undergo a standard preoperative medical clearance that includes full blood count, thyroid function test (TSH, free T3 & T4) and an ECG.
Graves Disease Treatment
Orbital decompression can be categorized into three types:
- Removal of bone from one or more walls of the orbit
- Removal of orbital fat, including intraconal fat
- A combination of bony and fat removal
What are the benefits?
- Improve position of eye back into orbit (bony socket),
- Improve discomfort
- Improve corneal exposure and reduce the risk of corneal infection
- Possibly improve raised intraocular pressures (especially when looking up).