Orbital Decompression Surgery
Orbital decompression surgery can often improve proptosis by enlarging the eye socket (orbit) to accommodate the swollen fat and muscle tissues behind the eye. This allows the eye to settle back into a more comfortable position. The consistency and amount of fat varies from case to case, and will impact the degree of decompression achieved by surgery. Individuals with thicker, stiffer fat may not experience as much decompression effect as those with large amounts of softer, more fluid-like fat tissue.
Around the orbit (the bone socket in which the eyeball sits), there are a number of sinus cavities that can be used to surgically expand the orbit. The sinus below the eye is called the maxillary sinus, and the sinus toward the nose is called the ethmoidal sinus. A maxillary-ethmoidal bone decompression is a well-recognized approach for accommodating the extra tissues behind the eye. Most people only require a two wall, maxillary-ethmoidal decompression; occasionally, the outside (lateral) wall of the orbit may also be removed.