Orbital infection, or orbital cellulitis, is an aggressive and rapidly progressing process that can threaten your vision and may even be life threatening. Although commonly arising from an adjacent sinusitis, orbital cellulitis often requires urgent orbital surgery to drain any abscesses followed by intravenous antibiotic treatment. Early intervention often leads to preservation of vision and successful outcomes. Orbital cellulitis can also result from trauma to the eyelid, eye, or orbit or innately in people with weakened immune systems or diabetes.
Orbital tumors can arise within the eye socket itself or as an extension from the eyelids, eye, or surrounding sinuses, bones, or brain. Some tumors grow slowly and largely unnoticed while others can cause rapid changes, vision loss, double vision, or changes in the eye’s appearance and position. We may need to evaluate potential tumors with CT or MRI scans and make treatment recommendations accordingly. Depending on the tumor in question, it may be removed with surgery, or treated by oncologists with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or we may decide to carefully observe it over time.
Orbital fractures are common after trauma to the face. The thin bones of the eye socket can “blow out” or break into the surrounding sinuses. These fractures can occur in isolation or combined with other facial bone fractures, eyelid lacerations, tear drain injuries, and bleeding within and around the eye. These injuries are commonly associated with fist fights, car accidents, sporting activities, and even simple falls.
Orbital fractures with significant tissue prolapsed into the surrounding sinuses, double vision, or numbness of the cheek and/or lips should be repaired in a timely fashion, usually within several weeks. Our research shows that surgery was more difficult but is still effective even after a month. Surgery performed at a later time may still be worthwhile, but may be less effective. Surgery is performed through an incision along the inside of the eyelid, leaving little if any external scars from the fracture repair.
enucleation and evisceration
The removal of an eye (enucleation and evisceration) may be necessary after a severe, blinding injury to the eye, or as a result of diseases that render an eye blind, painful, and often disfiguring. Once the eye is removed, the socket is reconstructed to prepare it for a prosthetic eye. In addition to the benefits of removing the blinded or diseased eye, the result can be quite natural and pleasing in appearance.