Simultaneous orbital decompression and correction of upper eyelid retraction versus staged procedures in thyroid-related orbitopathy.


To evaluate the outcome of eyelid retraction surgery in thyroid-related orbitopathy (TRO) patients in 2 different surgical settings: done simultaneously with orbital decompression or as a staged procedure after orbital decompression.


Retrospective, comparative, nonrandomized clinical study.


Ninety-six patients (158 eyes).


A review of electronic medical records of TRO patients who underwent surgery for upper eyelid retraction and orbital decompression at the Jules Stein Eye Institute in 1999 to 2003 was performed. Data regarding eyelid position, comprehensive eye examination, surgical outcome, and complications were analyzed.


Anatomical and functional success based on margin reflex distance (MRD1; < or = 5 mm was graded as mild retraction; > 5 mm and < 7 mm, moderate; and > 7 mm, severe), and patients’ discomfort.


One hundred fifty-eight eyelid retraction surgeries were performed on 96 TRO patients (18 male and 78 female; mean age, 48 years); mean follow up time was 15 (+/-12) months. Group 1 consisted of patients undergoing simultaneous eyelid retraction surgery and orbital decompression and comprised 97 cases (surgeries). Group 2 included 61 cases of staged surgery: orbital decompression and eyelid retraction at a later stage. The groups had similar surgical outcomes, and > 85% had a better eyelid position postoperatively. Reoperation rates for residual or recurrent eyelid retraction were similar, overcorrection was higher in group 2 (5% vs. 0%, P = 0.03). Changes in MRD1, lagophthalmos, and exophthalmos were similar (P > 0.05, independent samples t test). Correction of eyelid retraction was effective in treating patients’ discomfort and exposure keratopathy (P = 0.04, chi2). No severe complications occurred after orbital decompression or eyelid retraction surgery in this group of patients.


Transconjunctival Muller’s muscle recession for correction of eyelid retraction in mild to moderate TRO patients, performed simultaneously with deep lateral wall orbital decompression, resulted in acceptable eyelid position in two thirds of our patients. Overcorrection and consecutive ptosis occurred less often after combined orbital decompression and eyelid retraction surgery than after isolated eyelid repositioning surgery. If confirmed in prospective controlled studies, eyelid-repositioning surgery performed at the time of orbital decompression may decrease the number of total procedures and compress the time needed for surgical rehabilitation.

Comment in

Thyroid orbitopathy. [Ophthalmology. 2006]