Orbital Decompression (Graves’ Disease)

What is Orbital Decompression?

Orbital Decompression (Graves' Disease) | Bellevue WA | Seattle

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
  • Disfigurement
  • 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).

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