Orbit surgery involves conditions affecting the eye socket and it contents, apart from the eye itself. These conditions are relatively rare but can include infections, inflammation and abnormal growth of tissue. In the case of cancer or abnormal growths, some surgery can preserve the eye but sometimes the eye needs to be removed. Infections and inflammation can sometimes be managed without the need for major surgery.
Orbit surgery also includes the treatment of the anophthalmic socket and the changes that can occur with time in a socket that has had the eye removed. Often the aim is to enhance cosmesis, but some patients require help to comfortably retain their ocular prosthesis.
Graves orbitopathy, or thyroid eye disease, is often managed by orbit specialists, in collaboration with endocrinologists, immunologists and radiation oncologists. The majority of patients who have this condition never require surgery. However in its most severe form, surgery on the eye socket, surgery to the eye muscles and later eyelid surgery may be required to save vision and restore function and appearance. Dr Smith is a member of the International Thyroid Eye Disease Society (ITEDS). More information about this condition can be found at the ITEDS website: www.thyroideyedisease.org
Most orbit operations are performed under general anaesthesia and some will require an admission to hospital and at least an overnight stay.