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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 312361, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Transcaruncular Medial Wall Orbital Decompression: An Effective Approach for Patients with Unilateral Graves Ophthalmopathy

1Department of Ophthalmology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 750 East Adams St., Syracuse, NY 13210, USA
2Division of Ophthalmology, Section Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Ohio University/Doctor’s Hospital, 5100 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43228, USA
3Department of Ophthalmology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Grant Medical Center, 111 S. Grant Ave., Columbus, OH 43215, USA

Received 24 October 2011; Accepted 3 January 2012

Academic Editor: Luis Pablo

Copyright Β© 2012 Robert H. Hill et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To evaluate the reduction in proptosis, incidence of postoperative diplopia, and postoperative globe symmetry after transcaruncular medial wall decompression in patients with unilateral Graves ophthalmopathy. Methods. Retrospective review of 16 consecutive patients who underwent unilateral transcaruncular medial wall orbital decompression from 1995 to 2007. The diagnosis of Graves ophthalmopathy was based on history and clinical findings including proptosis, lagophthalmos, lid retraction, motility restriction, and systemic thyroid dysfunction. Results. The mean reduction in proptosis was 2.3 mm. The mean difference in exophthalmometry preoperatively between the two eyes in each patient was 3.1 mm whereas postoperatively the mean difference was 1.1 mm ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 0 2 ). Eleven of 16 patients (69%) had 1 mm or less of asymmetry postoperatively. There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of diplopia pre- and postoperatively ( 𝑃 = 1 . 0 ). Conclusions. Medial wall orbital decompression is a safe and practical surgical approach for patients with unilateral Graves orbitopathy. The procedure carries a low risk of morbidity and yields anatomic retrusion of the globe that is comparable to other more invasive methods and may yield more symmetric postoperative results.