Eyelid Procedure

Orbital Decompression

What is Orbital Decompression?

Orbital decompression is a surgical procedure that aims to create space within the orbital socket due to certain conditions that cause constriction or irritation of the eyeball as sits in the socket.

Grave's Disease

Grave’s disease, also known as thyroid eye disease, can lead to proptosis, “bulging” of the eyes, which can sometimes lead to loss of vision and can be aesthetically bothersome.

Why is Orbital Decompression Done?

Orbital decompression is performed for various reasons including the following:

  • Exophthalmos (bulging of the eye) due to Grave’s Disease or thyroid eye disease
  • Chronic eye pain
  • Inability to close the eye
  • Pinched optic nerve (optic neuropathy) and vision impairment
  • Scar tissue formation over the cornea (keratitis) from constant eye irritation
  • Chronically dry eyes
  • Cosmetically unappealing protrusion of the eye from the socket

What is the Procedure Like?

Mild Cases

Orbital decompression can be done in mild cases using a fat decompression. This is performed by surgically removing some of the orbital fat around the eye.

Severe Cases

In more severe cases, a boney decompression is performed in order to remove some of the bones of the eye socket to allow the orbital contents to expand into the sinuses.

Traditional Procedure

The traditional way of performing orbital decompression involves making a small an incision through the back of the lower eyelid down through the inner corner of the eye (the caruncle). Dr. Marshak then carefully removes small pieces of bone in the inner-lower portion of the eye socket. Once the bones are removed, small cuts in the [lining of the eye] are made in order to remove fatty tissue that is restricting or otherwise interfering with the movement and health of the eye. Once complete, the incisions are expertly closed and hidden within the eyelid creases or other skin folds to minimize the appearance of scarring.

What is Recovery from Orbital Demopression Like?

Like with most eyelid surgeries, strenuous physical activity and sports are not recommended for the first week after surgery, however, normal activity (walking, shopping) is permitted. There are usually no bandages and showering is permitted the day after surgery. It is common for patients to develop bruising and swelling the majority of the swelling goes away in two to three weeks, but some swelling can last for a longer period of time as every patient heals at different rates depending on age and skin type. Dr. Marshak will personally see you frequently in the post-operative period to monitor your healing and ensure you are on course.

What are the Benefits of Orbital Decompression?

Orbital decompression surgery should result in a reduction or elimination of chronic eye pain, improved orbital function, reduction in headaches or other complications from a compressed orbit along with an improved cosmetic appearance and reduced vision impairment.

  • Reduce / Eliminate Chronic Eye Pain
  • Improved Orbital Function
  • Reduction in Headaches
  • Reduced Complications from a Compressed Orbit
  • Improved Cosmetic Appearance
  • Reduced Vision Impairment

If Orbital Decompression is Performed Endoscopically

If orbital decompression is performed endoscopically and no cutting or incisions are made, swelling and bruising is minimal, and recovery can be a lot quicker. Length of recovery, however, can vary depending on multiple factors including age, health, genetics and previous surgery.

What to Expect During Recovery

Like with most eyelid surgeries, strenuous physical activity and sports are not recommended for the first week after surgery, however, normal activity (walking, shopping) is permitted. There are usually no bandages and showering is permitted the day after surgery. It is common for patients to develop bruising and swelling the majority of the swelling goes away in two to three weeks, but some swelling can last for a longer period of time as every patient heals at different rates depending on age and skin type. Dr. Marshak will personally see you frequently in the post-operative period to monitor your healing and ensure you are on course.

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

If you have exophthalmos with the commonly associated symptoms due to Grave’s Diseases, scar tissue or other reason, call Dr. Marshak in his Palm Desert office today for a consultation to determine the best procedure for your needs.