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Orbital Surgery

orbital surgery Xray

The eye socket, also called the orbit, is the bony surroundings of the eye that protect the eye. Tumors, infections, thyroid eye disease, and fractures involving the eye socket are common reasons patients may need orbital surgery. Some conditions requiring orbital surgery are nonurgent and elective while some conditions can cause vision loss if unattended to. Orbital surgery typically involves an incision on or around the eyelids to gain access to the space around or behind the eye. By utilizing retraction and instruments specifically designed for access to the orbit, the problem can be visualized and corrected.

Orbital surgery is generally done in the operating room under general anesthesia, however, some patients are candidates for surgery in clinic. Patients can return home immediately after the procedure and resume nearly all normal daily activities the very next day.

While there are a significant number of differences in the conditions that require orbital surgery, generally, most conditions that require orbital surgery are covered by insurance. Dr. McDevitt and Dr. Sweeney will evaluate you for the condition you have and discuss whether or not you meet the criteria of your insurance company for an insurance-covered surgery.

Depending on the surgery performed, you may or may not have a bandage over the eye immediately after the surgery. There may be some pain or irritation on the eyes from the surgery which can be alleviated by taking the medications prescribed for you during your preoperative visit. The eyelids may be bruised and swollen for 2 weeks. Patients can return to their usual daily routine the day after surgery but should avoid lifting heavy items and submerging the wound in water for 2-3 weeks. Ensure you do not take the bandage off before your surgeon asks you to.

No, thyroid eye disease that is mild to moderate in severity can be treated with medical measures first. These measures may include topical agents such as artificial tears or ointments. Other medications such as oral or IV steroids may be beneficial for active thyroid eye disease. A medication called Tepezza (Teprotumumab) may also be used to stabilize active thyroid eye disease. If the thyroid eye disease does not respond to medications and is causing vision loss or harm to the eye, surgery is recommended.

This is actually a common misconception. The eye does not need to be removed or taken out of the eye socket for surgery to be performed. Your doctor will work around the eye to gain visualization of the problem.

Not all fractures in the eye socket need to be fixed. If there is no impairment in how the eye works and the cosmetic disturbance from the fracture is not bothersome, the eye socket can be allowed to heal without surgery. The eye socket acts as its own cast and can even remake orbital bone to support the eye. If the fracture is causing visual disruption, is large, or is in a position where natural recovery is unlikely, then orbital fracture repair is necessary.