Oculofacial Plastics Practice of Dr. Kimberly Cockerham

Orbital Decompression

Inflammation and swelling of the eye muscle and fat causes volume expansion. The eye is surrounded by bone on all sides except in the front, so the eye protrudes outward. An additional concern is that continued compression can eventually affect the optic nerve. In order to relive the compression - decompress - an operation to remove parts of the surrounding bone is performed.


Incision

Bone Removed

Bone Removed

Lateral wall exposed

Bone drill to remove orbital lateral wall

Lower area worked on

Exposing nasal edge

Cutting Medial Bone

Bones Removed

Eye now has room to move inward


Orbital Surgery Pre-operative Instructions

  • Do not take any aspirin, aspirin containing medicines or anti-inflammatory medications for two weeks prior to surgery (including Motrin and Naprosyn). Only Tylenol is okay.
  • Do not use Vitamin E or C supplements or any other herbal remedies for two weeks prior to surgery. Please see the complete list of medicines that contain aspirin. Download Medications to avoid
  • If you fail to stop medicines that thin your blood or do not follow post-operative instructions to limit your activities, bleeding can occur that can result in permanent loss of vision. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the day before surgery.
  • Do not wear eye make-up on the morning of surgery.
  • Bruising and swelling will be present for at least one week following surgery, so plan your social and professional schedule accordingly.
  • Purchase two 16-ounce bags of frozen peas or corn to use rather than ice cubes. (During the first 24 hours following surgery you will need to apply ice to your eyelids at least 20 minutes/hour while awake).

Orbital Surgery Post-operative Instructions

  • You may eat or drink normally.
  • You may also resume taking your usual dose of medication prescribed to you before the operation by your family doctor EXCEPT ASPIRIN. You may resume your aspirin 10 DAYS AFTER surgery.
  • If you had a fracture repaired: Try not to sneeze or blow your nose. This can force air from the sinuses under the skin and result in dramatic swelling and prolonged healing.
  • Apply erythromycin ointment twice a day in a thin layer over the sutures until your sutures are removed.
  • Your eyelid sutures will be removed one week after surgery.
  • Use the ointment only once a day for three days after the sutures are removed.

For The Fastest Possible Healing

  • Use a 16 oz. bag of peas or corn to ice your incisions as much as you can tolerate while awake for the first 24 hours.
  • RELAX: do not bend, stoop, lift, or exert yourself for seven days after surgery. Do not swim for two weeks following surgery. Do not do any aerobic activity, e.g. running for two weeks following surgery. No sexual relation for two weeks.
  • Do not take aspirin or aspirin-like products (Motrin, Advil, Alka selzer, Excedrin) for ten days following surgery.
  • Do not apply makeup or lotion to the incision. Use only the erythromycin ointment. Apply this ointment in a thin layer over the sutures twice a day for seven days.
  • Bruising and swelling of the area operated on is normal. However, increasing redness, swelling, bruising or bleeding is NOT normal.
  • A minimal ache is common and should be relieved with Tylenol and ice. Moderate-to-severe pain is NOT common and you should call the office immediately.

Warning Signs

  • Increasing redness, pain or swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Change in your vision

IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THESE WARNING SIGNS OR IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE IMMEDIATELY (650) 559-9150.

Download Orbital Surgery Instructions

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