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February 1993

Orbital Decompression for Preservation of Vision in Graves' Ophthalmopathy

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (Drs Girod and Cummings) and Ophthalmology (Dr Orcutt), University of Washington, Seattle. Dr Girod is now with the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Naval Hospital Oakland, Calif. Dr Cummings is now with the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119(2):229-233. doi:10.1001/archotol.1993.01880140119019

• Graves' ophthalmopathy (thyroid eye disease) can result in progressive visual loss. The University of Washington (Seattle) experience in orbital decompression was reviewed for the years 1983 through 1990 to determine overall safety and outcome. Twenty patients underwent transantral decompression of 36 orbits for either steroid therapy failure, steroid therapy intolerance, or recurrence of optic neuropathy with tapering of the steroid therapy. Decompression successfully improved visual function in 33 of the orbits (92%) and a second decompression procedure was successful in another two (5%) of the orbits (6%). There were no major complications or cases of decreased visual function. Diplopia, present preoperatively in 17 patients (85%), was improved in eight patients (47%) and unchanged in nine patients (53%). However, of the three patients without preoperative diplopia (15%), one had development of new-onset diplopia postoperatively. Transantral decompression of the orbit offers a safe and effective therapeutic modality for vision-threatening Graves' ophthalmopathy.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119:229-233)