Use of Extraocular Muscle Flaps in the Correction of Orbital Implant Exposure

Hsueh Yen Chu, Yi Lin Liao, Yueh Ju Tsai*, Yen Chang Chu, Shu Ya Wu, Lih Ma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purposes:The study is to describe a new surgical technique for correcting large orbital implant exposure with extraocular muscle flaps and to propose a treatment algorithm for orbital implant exposure.Methods:In a retrospective study, seven patients with orbital implant exposure were treated with extraocular muscle flaps. All data were collected from patients in Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan during 2007-2012. All surgeries were performed by one surgeon (Y.J.T). Patient demographics, the original etiology, details of surgical procedures, implant types, and follow-up interval were recorded. Small exposure, defined as exposure area smaller than 3 mm in diameter, was treated conservatively first with topical lubricant and prophylactic antibiotics. Larger defects were managed surgically.Results:Seven patients consisting of two males and five females were successfully treated for orbital implant exposure with extraocular muscle flaps. The average age was 36.4 (range, 3-55) years old. Five patients were referred from other hospitals. One eye was enucleated for retinoblastoma. The other six eyes were eviscerated, including one for endophthalmitis and five for trauma. Mean follow-up time of all seven patients was 19.5 (range, 2-60) months. No patient developed recurrence of exposure during follow-up. All patients were fitted with an acceptable prosthesis and had satisfactory cosmetic and functional results.Conclusions:The most common complication of orbital implant is exposure, caused by breakdown of the covering layers, leading to extrusion. Several methods were reported to manage the exposed implants. We report our experience of treating implant exposure with extraocular muscle flaps to establish a well-vascularized environment that supplies both the wrapping material and the overlying ocular surface tissue. We believe it can work as a good strategy to manage or to prevent orbital implant exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere72223
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - 25 09 2013


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