An Examination of Posttraumatic, Postsurgical Orbital Deformities: Conclusions Drawn for Improvement of Primary Treatment

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A retrospective analysis was carried out on the records of 317 patients operated on by the senior author (S.A.W.) for orbital fractures between 1975 and 2007. Two hundred forty of the patients had been previously operated on elsewhere and required further correction (posttraumatic, postsurgical orbital deformity). A smaller group of patients (n = 77) were operated on primarily. The two groups were not, of course, similar, because the posttraumatic, postsurgical orbital deformity group had been operated on by a variety of surgeons with varying levels of experience and ability, and the group of patients operated on primarily had a larger percentage of fractures in the pediatric age group, because of the practice being partially based in a children’s hospital, and a larger percentage of severe, compound orbital injuries, because of statewide referrals. Nevertheless, a number of causes for reoperation seen in the posttraumatic, postsurgical orbital deformity group were not seen in the primarily operated group. These included lower eyelid retraction attributable to use of the subciliary incision, displacement and extrusion of alloplastic materials, and fixation of fractures in a nonreduced position. These differences validate, in the authors’ opinion, the application of the basic principles of craniofacial reconstruction set forth by Paul Tessier, listed in the text, to both the primary and secondary treatment of posttraumatic orbital deformities.

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