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Free Content Results of transantral orbital decompression in patients with thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy

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To present the results of orbital decompression in patients with thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy (TAO).


Transantral orbital decompression was performed in 63 patients with TAO. In 40 patients (63%) the operation was made because of progressive ophthalmopathy not responding to medical therapy, and in 23 patients (37%) the operation was made for rehabilitative reasons. The long-term hypesthesia engaging the infraorbital nerve was assessed with a questionnaire using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS).


The mean proptosis reduction was 3.2 mm (range 0–8 mm). Twenty-one patients had impaired visual acuity preoperatively, and 20 improved. Altogether 30 patients (40%) had worsened ocular motility postoperatively. Forty-three patients did not have diplopia in the primary position preoperatively, and new diplopia developed in 22 of these (51%). Hypesthesia in the infraorbital nerve area was reported for half of the operated sides, but was a major cause of distress (VAS-scoring >5) to eleven patients.


Transantral orbital decompression is indicated in patients with progressive TAO or in patients with prominent exophthalmos, and results in a good proptosis reduction, but the risk of postoperative diplopia is significant. Postoperative hypesthesia is common but often not a major problem.

Keywords: hypesthesia; orbital decompression; thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: St. Erik's Eye Hospital, Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, Karolinska Hospital 2: , Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: 2000-04-01

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