The Hook and Release Technique During Enucleation Surgery

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Purpose:To describe the results and potential benefit of direct muscle release from the globe during enucleation surgery without identifying sutures in the rectus muscle insertion sites, a technique referred to as the hook and release technique.Methods:Single center, retrospective chart review of patients who underwent enucleation with direct removal of the rectus muscles without identifying sutures in their insertion sites between January 2011 and September 2015 was carried out. The inclusion criteria were primary enucleation without previous strabismus surgery, retinal detachment surgery, or orbital surgery that entered the fibrous connective tissue framework. Forty charts of enucleated patients that had direct release of their extraocular muscles without identifying sutures before releasing them from the globe were identified and reviewed. The primary outcome measure was intraoperative or immediate postoperative complications. This retrospective chart review was performed with research ethics board approval and in compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki.Results:Data show that following the hook and release technique, the rectus muscles were easily located and reconnected to the orbital implant wrap. The oblique muscles were not reattached. In each of the 40 patients, the 4 rectus muscles were easily located by gently applying traction anteriorly at the conjunctiva/Tenons’ edge using double-pronged skin hooks. There was no instance of a lost or slipped muscle following the hook and release technique.Conclusion:The hook and release technique is a simple and efficient method to remove the 4 rectus muscles from the globe and still easily locate them. They are not “lost” and do not “slip out of position” but held in place by the orbital connective tissue framework and the extraocular muscle pulley system. This technique has been very helpful teaching resident staff how to do enucleation surgery as it avoids the more time consuming placement of double-armed locking sutures through the rectus muscle insertions and the potential risk of globe penetration while the muscles remain attached to the eye. If the surgeon desires to attach the muscles to the orbital implant, then sutures are passed after the eye is removed, thus eliminating the worry of globe penetration and avoiding accidentally cutting preplaced extraocular muscle sutures during the remaining enucleation procedure.

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