To compare exophthalmos reduction in lateral orbital decompressions performed via rim sparing versus temporary rim removal techniques.
The authors performed a retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent simple lateral or combined medial and lateral wall orbital decompression between 2005 and 2013 by a single surgeon. Nineteen patients (33 orbits) were identified for inclusion in the study. Decompression procedures (1 or 2 orbital walls) involved either a rim sparing or a temporary rim removal technique. Preoperatively, all patients had stable exophthalmos defined as ≤1 mm change in exophthalmos over 2 consecutive visits. Measurements were taken again at the 3 to 4 months postoperative visit. Exclusion criteria were acute or unstable exophthalmos, exophthalmos secondary to malignancy, and patients lost to follow up.
There were no significant differences in exophthalmos reduction for rim sparing versus temporary rim removal techniques in any of the groups studied. Simple lateral decompression procedures achieved 3.7 and 4.4 mm of exophthalmos reduction in rim sparing versus temporary rim removal techniques, respectively (P = 0.49). Exophthalmos reduction in combined medial and lateral wall orbital decompression was 4.1 mm for rim sparing and 3.5 mm for temporary rim removal techniques (P = 0.75).
In our experience, orbital decompression approached through rim sparing or temporary rim removal techniques achieves similar results in simple lateral and combined medial and lateral decompressions. Though these techniques generate similar outcomes, temporary rim removal provides for improved visibility and access to deep orbital structures.