Purpose: We report the use of bovine pericardium as an alternative wrapping for porous orbital implants after enucleation.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of all patients who received a bovine pericardium-wrapped orbital implant after enucleation by the authors between August 1, 1996, and December 1, 1999.
Results: Eighty patients underwent placement of bovine pericardium-wrapped orbital implants. The average age at the time of implantation was 49.3 years (range, 5 years to 83 years). The mean follow-up interval was 11.8 months (range, 2 to 41 months). There were no intraoperative complications. No patient had secondary systemic infection or showed evidence of rejection. There was no clinical evidence to suggest that vascularization of the porous implant was unusually delayed, and there were no complications after secondary drilling and placement of a coupling post. Four (5%) of 80 patients had complications requiring removal of the spherical implant. All 4 patients had hydroxyapatite implants. Two patients had significant exposure requiring removal of the implant at 2 months after surgery; 1 patient had a chronic fistulous tract with secondary infection 3 years after surgery: and 1 patient had chronic orbital pain requiring removal of the implant at 1 year after surgery.
Conclusions: The incidence of implant exposure was less than 4%. This compares favorably to the incidence of exposure of 9% to 21% reported in recent literature. Other complications were few and of minimal clinical significance. The authors conclude that bovine pericardium is a viable option to sclera as a wrapping for porous orbital implants.