The orbit is the boney socket in the human skull where the eyes and all associated structures that support it are located. While the eyes and these supporting tissues are surrounded by fat that acts as a protecting cushion, a variety of problems can affect the orbital area and the eyes. These conditions range from diseases such as Graves’ disease to infections, tumors, and trauma. The surgeons at the Eye Institute at the Medical Center Clinic are expert in the various orbital surgeries that can be needed.
A subspecialty of oculoplastic surgery
Orbital surgery is an area of specialization within oculoplastic surgery. Oculoplastic surgery involves both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures on the eyelids, the lacrimal system, and the orbital area. You can access other pages on our site about those other areas.
Conditions that require orbital surgery
- Orbital tumors — Tumors can develop in the eye sockets of adults and children. In some cases, they can be removed as stand-alone procedures, but often more aggressive tumors in this area require coordination with other specialists.
- Orbital trauma — All sorts of impacts, everything from a hit baseball to a car wreck, can result in fractures to the bones of the orbit. These fractures often cause symptoms such as double vision, or they can merit full reconstruction to rebuild the necessary support for the eyes.
- Thyroid decompression — Graves’ disease, also known as thyroid eye disease, is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder that affects the soft tissues of the orbit. When the body attacks the thyroid, too much thyroid production leads to these problems: eyelid retraction, eye protrusion, dry eye, double vision, and eye bags. Various surgical and non-surgical treatments are used to manage the complications of Graves’ disease.
- Eye removal — There are times when an eye cannot be saved, whether due to trauma or disease. In these cases, reconstruction of the eye socket is done to prepare it for the prosthetic eye with the goal of creating the best cosmetic end result.