The” triple technique” for treating stable Graves’ ophthalmopathy

Graves’ ophthalmopathy may range from mild eyelid retraction to a devastating process that involves the entire orbit and culminates in gross ocular congestion, massive proptosis, and even blindness. Whether the ophthalmopathy is mild or severe, patients are managed on an individual basis according to the predominant clinical findings, which may include congestion, myopathy, lid retraction, proptosis, and optic neuropathy. The process usually becomes quiescent after 6 months to 3 years; however, the changes caused by fibrosis (lid retraction and ocular muscle enlargement) are permanent. The cornerstone of surgical treatment for severe cases is bony orbital decompression; however, in our experience, mild to moderate Graves’ ophthalmopathy is better treated by combining eyelid surgery and orbital lipectomy. Our approach consists of a conservative orbital lipectomy, the lengthening of the levator-Müller complex by means of marginal myotomies, and a limited lateral tarsal apposition. These three different surgical steps, which have been described previously as isolated procedures, are undertaken on both eyes at the same time and modulated according to the deformity of the patient. The operation can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation, thus allowing intraoperative monitoring of the correction; the patient can be discharged after a few hours. The results in 32 operated eyes of 16 patients have been a marked aesthetic and functional improvement, with no complications after 6 to 18 months of follow-up. The relative simplicity and very low morbidity of this procedure, as well as its reliability, make it ideal in patients with mild to …


Carlo Tremolada, Monica Aschero Tremolada


Plastic and reconstructive surgery