Orbital decompression for Graves' disease. Exposure through lateral canthal and inferior fornix incision

Ophthalmology. 1981 Jun;88(6):533-41.


A surgical procedure is described to perform orbital decompression in patients suffering from orbitopathy in Graves' Disease. The decompression technique employs exposure of the orbit through a lateral incision and an inferior fornix incision. These combined incisions with exposure can be used to perform an antral-ethmoidal decompression (two-wall decompression) or an antral-ethmoidal-lateral wall decompression (three-wall decompression). This present series contains 34 patients who underwent decompression through a 2 1/2-year period ending October 1980. The results of decompression were quantitated by measuring the retroplacement of the globe and in patients with compressive optic neuropathy by improvement in vision. The retroplacement of the globe with the antral-ethmoidal (two-wall decompression) was 4 to 7 mm (average 6 mm), and the retroplacement was 6 to 8 mm in four patients who underwent antral-ethmoidal-lateral decompression (three-wall decompression). All patients with compressive optic neuropathy improved to a final visual acuity of 20/40 or better. Five of 11 patients, with compressive optic neuropathy required postoperative super-voltage irradiation to reach this acuity. Fifty percent of the patients undergoing antral-ethmoidal decompression for proptosis required additional eyelid surgery with recession of upper lid retractors.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exophthalmos / surgery*
  • Eyelid Diseases / surgery
  • Female
  • Graves Disease / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / surgery*
  • Orbital Diseases / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Visual Acuity