Orbital exenteration: our experience

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We reviewed our experience of the multidisciplinary collaboration between ophthalmologists, head and neck surgeons, neurosurgeons, radiologists and oncologists in the management of extensive tumors treated by orbital exenteration at the Humanitas Research Institute, Milan, Italy, over the past 10 years.


This is a retrospective cohort study of all patients who underwent orbital exenteration between March 2005 and August 2014 at the Humanitas Research Institute. The 10-year cohort of exenterated patients was identified through operating room notes using the clinical code set of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10).


A total of 26 patients were identified, including 19 (73.1%) males. The median age was 65.5 years (range 37–87). Eighteen (69.2%) patients had major skin cancers extending to the orbit. Patients were divided into 2 cohorts: cohort 1 comprising patients with sinus or craniofacial cancers requiring orbital exenteration, and cohort 2 comprising patients with advanced periorbital skin cancers. The two cohorts were well matched for sex, age at surgery, degree of invasion, extension of surgical removal, necessity of adjuvant radiotherapy, reconstruction processes, and rehabilitation.


In our experience patients never died of the primary lesion but because of the occurrence of other problems. So we encourage local surgical radicality.

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