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Before Surgery


After Surgery*

Graves disease, or thyroid eye disease, is caused by a complex interaction between the thyroid gland and the orbital tissue. This condition produces a variety of periocular problems ranging from increased fullness of the eyelids to blindness caused by optic nerve compression. In patients with severe thyroid eye disease, surgical rehabilitation can be considered. The patients who are candidates for surgical rehabilitation of thyroid eye disease may have vision loss, severe proptosis or bulging of the eyelids, double vision, eyelid retraction, and prominent fat pads in their eyelids.

The surgical rehabilitation of thyroid eye disease often requires several operations. Surgery must be performed in sequential steps. Not every patient with thyroid eye disease needs multiple operations to regain their proper appearence and function. The first procedure to be considered is orbital decompression. This procedure moves the eyeballs into a more posterior and protected position. Orbital decompression can dramatically reduce the bulging of the eyeballs. Orbital decompression is required in patients with vision loss caused by optic nerve compression or in patients with severe proptosis.

Double vision caused by thyroid eye disease is addressed after the orbital decompression. If an orbital decompression is not required, then strabismus surgery can be performed to align the eyeballs. Strabismus surgery is performed once the thyroid eye disease has stabilized.

Eyelid retraction repair and blepharoplasty are the last procedures to be performed in the surgical management of thyroid eye disease. Excess fat and retracted eyelid margins can be repaired with additional surgery. The surgical rehabilitation of the thyroid eye patient can require several operations. The series of surgeries make take 6 months from start to finish.

*While patient satisfaction with Dr. Long is high, we cannot guarantee the outcome of any surgical procedure. Individual results vary from patient to patient and it's important that you speak with Dr. Long to determine the best solution for you.