What is Orbital Decompression?
Exophthalmos, most commonly associated with Graves’ disease, is an abnormal protrusion or bulging of the eyeballs. In addition to the unusual appearance bulging eyes creates, the eyelids retract causing eye irritation and redness, vision problems develop, and you can feel chronic eye pain and headaches. To treat bulging eyes (exophthalmos), orbital decompression surgery can be performed to remove certain bones in the eye socket and nasal sinuses to create more room in the orbital socket for the eyes. Once the eye socket is enlarged, the eyes will move back into their normal position.
For the most successful cosmetic and functional result Orbital Decompression surgery is performed by 2 surgeons. Dr. Eugene "Gene" Alford will provide the intranasal endoscopic approach and perform endoscopic sinus surgery to open the sinuses directly bedside the eye and an oculoplastic surgeron will reduce the bones of the orbit.
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"Needed Someone to Fix What Another Doctor Messed Up - Houston, TX - Never have I been fortunate to have been under the care of a physician who values your time and the impact of your health issue on you both physically and emotionally. DR. Eugene Alford does both. His office was always on time, his staff are extremely friendly and caring and he never made you feel like he was in a hurry. With Dr. Alford you feel like you are his only patient. As for expertise, he is exceptional. He sets high standards and achieves them. He is committed to getting you the best outcome possible and you are involved in his plan of care from step one. He takes the time to educate you and wants your feedback. His hands are miracle workers and I have the nose now to prove it. I can never thank him enough for giving me my confidence back."- O. / RealSelf / Jan 09, 2016
"Revision Rhinoplasty - Houston, TX - Dr. Alford is excellent in communication and has a great staff. Hardly any wait time. Easy to reach and questions or always answered. Recovery was very easy."- T. / RealSelf / Dec 14, 2015
"Best in Revision Rhinoplasty Surgery. Houston, TX - After a botched rhinoplasty in the UK I consulted with Dr. Hamilton in Houston, TX. He recommended that he not perform the surgery as it was quite a complex case, and therefore suggested going to a specialist in revision surgeries for the nose, Dr. Alford. Earlier this year Dr. Alford operated on my nose: the bump is gone and the tip is straight. What else could one ask for?"- L. / RealSelf / Dec 11, 2015
Orbital decompression surgery is usually completed in 1 hour with the patient under general anesthesia. Dr. Gene along with your oculoplastic surgeron perform orbital decompression surgeries with an intranasal endoscope route to remove 1 or more walls of the eye socket. The advantage of this approach is that it is successful from both a cosmetic and functional standpoint as it both protects the eye from vision loss, and restores the eye’s normal appearance.
After your surgery, you will have an overnight stay in hospital so nurses can monitor your recovery and provide professional medical care. You will be examined the day after your surgery and released from the hospital to recover at home. Patients generally take 1 – 2 weeks for recovery before returning to work and their normal activities. Dr. Gene will let you know when it is safe to resume more strenuous activities, like exercise.
Although there will be swelling and inflammation, you should be able to see an improvement immediately after your surgery. As your recovery continues, your eyes will begin to look and function more normally. You will require follow-up visits to check your progress and check for any concerns.
What Does Orbital Repair Cost?
Since each case is unique, there is no typical or average cost for orbital decompression surgery, but since it is a medically necessary procedure, it is usually covered at least in part by health insurance. Our office will communicate with your insurance company to determine your coverage, benefits, and personal expenses. Once your insurance coverage is determined, Dr. Gene can go through a breakdown of your costs.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 1 - 2 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 1 Hour
- Post-op Follow-up
- 1 Day
- Procedure Recovery Location
- Overnight Stay in Hospital
Orbital Decompression FAQs
- Bulging eyes
- Chronic eye irritation
- Chronic eye pain
- Double vision
- Enlarged eyeballs
- Graves’ disease
- Optic neuropathy
- Scar tissue over the cornea
- Thyroid eye disease
Orbital decompression surgery can benefit anyone who needs more space in their orbital cavity in order to move their eyes back to a normal position. Bulging eyes are a common side effect of Graves’ disease and thyroid eye diseases.
Incisions and Scars?
Since the endoscope goes through the nose to reach the orbital cavity, there are no incisions made in the skin. There will be some bruising, swelling, and inflammation within the eye socket, but this is temporary.
Most of the time, orbital decompression surgery is performed alone, but Dr. Gene may also perform another reconstruction surgery based on your needs, including facial reconstruction surgery, facial paralysis surgery, MOHS reconstruction surgery, head and neck reconstruction surgery. Plastic surgery, like an eyelid lift or facelift, may also be added if you want to refresh your appearance for more dramatic results.