Orbital Decompression Surgery
Bulging eyes (aka proptosis or exophthalmos or negative orbital vector) is when the eyes can appear larger and, at times, disproportionate to the rest of the face. Often, bulgy eyes can be painful, exposing the eyes to too much air and foreign objects. Bulging eyes may be present from birth and are more prevalent among certain ethnicities. While the same bulging eyes may be abnormal in one ethnicity/race, they may be normal in another. Bulgy eyes can be symmetric or asymmetric with only one side involved or one eye worse than the other side.
Proptosis (bulging eyes) or appearance of bulgy eyes can result from a variety of causes, including:
- Graves’ or thyroid eye disease
- Orbital tumors
- Genetics (Inherited)
- Shallow orbit (shallow eyes socket)
- Sunken cheek bones
- Large Myopic Eyeballs
- Relatively large eye when compared to sunken opposite eye
Treatment For Bulging Eyes
The treatment for proptosis or bulging eyes is orbital decompression surgery. The procedure can be performed for functional or rehabilitative reasons, as bulging eyes can cause eye irritation, redness, and tearing from increased exposure of the eyeballs to air and/or an inability to close the eyes fully. Orbital eye socket surgery sets the eyeballs back by removing bone and/or fat from behind the eyeballs through small, hidden or inconspicuous incisions. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis.
Orbital Decompression Surgery
Surgery for protruding (bulging or negative orbital vector) eyes can also be performed for cosmetic or aesthetic purposes for those who are unhappy about the appearance of their eyes or the way they look in proportion to the rest of the face, either due to disease or inherited. Usually, the degree of orbital surgery needed for aesthetic reasons is less than that required for functional reasons and hence it is even safer. As stated earlier, cosmetic orbital decompression surgery for bulgy eyes is performed on an outpatient basis, where the patient goes home after surgery.
Read Dr. Taban’s Manuscript about Combined Orbital Decompression and Eyelid Retraction Surgery.
Read Dr. Taban's Manuscript about Combined Orbital Decompression and Eyelid Retraction Surgery.
Dr. Taban uses only the latest surgical technologies, including minimal (hidden) incision techniques, to provide quicker recovery times and natural outcomes for his patients. During your consultation with Dr. Taban in Los Angeles (Beverly Hills or Santa Barbara), he will evaluate your eyes and face and discuss customized eye socket surgery that will work best for you, given your specific anatomy/problem and desired goal. If the two eyes look different, then a different amount of eye socket surgery can be done on each eye. An orbital imaging may be obtained in some cases prior to surgery.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Relatively hollow area around the eyes can also make the eyeballs appear bulgier. Therefore, a substitute procedure or additional complimentary procedure is filling around the eye with either fat or filler. Filler injection to improve sunken appearance around the eye is a nonsurgical option for the right candidate.
Who Is A Candidate For This Procedure?
- Inherited proptosis (bulging eye) such as shallow eye socket, sunken cheekbone, etc.
- Acquired proptosis (bulging eye) such as thyroid eye disease.
- Apparent proptosis from relatively sunken opposite eye.
- Apparent proptosis from large myopic eyeball.
- Hyperglobus (higher eyeball position compared to opposite eye).
Intended Results & Benefits
- More natural appearing eye(s), in proportion to the face.
- Better symmetric eyes (if asymmetry present prior).
- Improved or normal eye closure (if problem present prior).
- Orbital decompression surgery is done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. It takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes to complete the procedure on each side, depending on the anatomy and how much decompression is needed.
- The incision is hidden in the upper eyelid crease and/or inside the eyelid and/or caruncle.
Surgical video demonstrating scarless orbital decompression.
Recovery Post-Orbital Decompression Surgery
- Bruising and swelling usually subside within 10-14 days.
- Minimal to moderate pain for the first day, controlled by oral pain medication.
- Vision is intact since no patches are used.
- Nonabsorbable sutures are removed 1 week after surgery while absorbable sutures are left alone.
- The patient can resume normal activity after about 7-10 days.
- Eye makeup may be used following healing of the incision.
- Contact lenses can be worn when comfortable (usually after 7-10 days).
Dr. Taban is an experienced orbital decompression surgeon. He has an oculoplastic surgeon with specialized training in eyelid, orbit, and lacrimal surgery. He has offices in the greater Los Angeles area (Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara). Contact us today.