Cosmetic orbital decompression and strabismus?

I have seen photos of cosmetic orbital decompression where afterwards the patient got strabismus, as her iris seemed too to the left in one eye. Is this a possible side effect or is there a way of eliminating this risk?

Doctor Answers 3

Orbital decompression

Proptosis or Exopthalmos are medical terms for a bulgy eye. This can happen due to a variety of different conditions, the most common being thyroid eye disease. Depending on how much decompression you need, one, two, or three walls of the eye socket can be decompressed to allow the eye to settle back in the eye socket. If only the lateral wall is needed, then the rate of double vision is very low, likely less than 5% chance. With each successive wall, the rate goes up to about 25-35% of patients suffering from postoperative double vision.

With an experienced surgeon, risks are low and manageable. Seek an oculoplastic surgeon


Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Risks of orbital decompression

There is of diplopia and other problems with orbital decompression. But the risk depends on multiple factors including health of the eye, surgeon's technique and experience, and how much decompression is done. The risks can be significantly minimized. The pros and cons of the procedure have to be taken into account before deciding on proceeding with the procedure, just like any other procedure. See following link.

Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Yes, orbital decompression has serious potential side effects including blindness.

Orbital decompression is appropriate when the potential benefits outweight the very real risk of complications. However, the surgery can be associated with significant complications which tend to get under estimated by individuals who are in the business of using orbital decompression as an alternative to standard eyelid procedures.  Unfortunately, there is no way to eliminate the risk of these serious potential complications so great care is needed in considering these procedures.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.