The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of helium-neon laser therapy in the treatment of hydroxyapatite orbital implant exposure and compare the results with those of a combined drugs and surgery regimen. A total of 70 patients with hydroxyapatite orbital implant exposure in 70 eyes were randomly divided into two groups: Helium-neon laser therapy (group A) and drugs plus surgery (group B). Each group contained 35 patients. The healing rates and times of the conjunctival wound were recorded and compared following helium-neon laser treatment or the drugs plus surgery regimen. Changes in the hydroxyapatite orbital implant prior to and following helium-neon laser irradiation were analyzed. A similar animal study was conducted using 24 New Zealand white rabbits, which received orbital implants and were then received drug treatment or helium-neon therapy. In the human experiment, the rates for conjunctival wound healing were 97.14% in group A and 74.29% in group B, with a significant difference between the groups (χ2=5.71, P<0.05). Patients with mild exposure were healed after 7.22±2.11 days of helium-neon laser therapy and 14.33±3.20 days of drugs plus surgery. A statistically significant difference was found between the groups (t=8.97, P<0.05). Patients with moderate to severe exposure were healed after 18.19±2.12 days of helium-neon laser therapy and 31.25±4.21 days of drugs plus surgery. The difference between the groups was statistically significant (t=7.91, P<0.05). Enhanced magnetic resonance imaging showed that the helium-neon laser therapy significantly promoted vascularization of the hydroxyapatite orbital implant. These results, combined with pathological findings in animals, which showed that a helium-neon laser promoted vascularization and had anti-inflammatory effects, suggest that helium-neon laser irradiation is an effective method for treating hydroxyapatite orbital implant exposure, thereby avoiding secondary surgery.
Keywords: helium-neon laser; hydroxyapatite; orbital implant exposure.