The Oculoplastics Centre | Adult and Paediatric Lid, Lacrimal and Orbit Surgery Sydney

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Orbital Implants

 The orbit (eye socket) is a shaped like an ice cream cone, with eyeball at the front and the orbit walls being made of bone. The orbit has a small volume of about 30ml, of which 7ml the eyeball. Other important structures that are situated in the orbit include the muscles controlling eye movement, the optic nerve, fat to cushion the eye and large arteries and veins.

If there is an imbalance between the volume of the orbit and its contents this will affect the cosmesis and function of the orbit and eyelids. For example loss of trauma can cause loss of the fat cushioning behind the eyeball. This will give the eye and eyelids a sunken appearance. A blow to the eye socket, such as a punch can cause one or more of the bony walls of the orbit to break outwards and so enlarge the size of the orbit again allowing the eye to “fall back” giving a sunken appearance. If there is a break in the wall of the orbit muscles that move the eye can get entrapped and double vision can result.

Orbital implants can be made from different substances, Dr Wilcsek will usually use a porous material with the structure similar to coral so that your body’s blood vessel and tissue can grow into the implant and incorporate it into the surrounding structure of the orbit.
Orbital implants can be placed over traumatic breaks in the orbital walls to stop muscles and orbital fat from being entrapped and causing double vision.

Orbital implants are also useful in replenishing volume of the orbit to push the eye forward again and cure a sunken appearance.

What does the treatment involve?

The surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic. Incisions are made on the inside of the eyelids to avoid any scarring of the skin. Usually patients will be admitted overnight for monitoring.

What is the recovery time?

Most patients will take 1 week off work. Physical activity in the first week should be minimal and then building up to a normal level over the following two weeks.

What are the risks?

Orbit surgery carries risk of loss of vision, double vision or change in the eyelid position, fortunately these risks are low but must be considered before proceeding.

Most cases are performed under general anaesthesia which carries separate risks.

All risks will be fully discussed at your consultation.