Guide To Orbital Decompression Recovery

In this week’s episode of Thyroid Thursday, Dr. Raymond Douglas shares his Guide to Orbital Decompression Recovery. Dr. Douglas completes hundreds of orbital decompression surgeries per year and can confidently say that no two surgeries are alike. However, what most surgeries do have in common is the recovery process. Relatively pain-free and quick, you will “be you again” in no time after surgery!

Here is a step by step Guide to Orbital Decompression Recovery to help you navigate your recovery process.

Orbital Decompression Surgery

The surgery generally lasts between one and two-and-a-half hours, depending on what the goal of the procedure is. Patients come in and go home on the very same day.

Right After Surgery

Once the surgery is completed, most patients have a little bit of white foam tape put under their cheek. Some bruising and swelling may start to set in several hours after the surgery. The aim of the white foam tape is to reduce the bruising and swelling.

Most patients look a lot worse than they feel right after surgery. Pain is not usually a big issue after orbital decompression. If you experience a lot of pain after surgery, contact Dr. Douglas immediately, by either calling the office or his personal cell phone number.

The First Night

The first night after surgery, it’s all about rest and relaxation. Periodically put some ice on the bruised areas and just take it easy. Pay attention to your vision, too. Make sure you aren’t having double vision or blurriness. Unfortunately, you are not allowed Advil, aspirin, or any such non-steroidal painkiller in the first 48 hours, because that would increase the bruising.

Few Days Following Surgery

Patients often experience a lot of numbness, due to injections given during surgery that numb the pain. The numbness typically lasts for a few days, but can subtly remain up to a week or two.

Continue to take it easy. Walking around is fine, but no major exercise. And remember, no non-steroidal painkillers until 48 hours have passed.

Next Few Weeks

Gradually increase your activity level over the next few weeks. Recovery time varies per individual, but generally, after two weeks you can resume all of your normal activities, including work and exercise. For some people it may be more like one week, for others, it could be two weeks or so. So listen to your body and always feel free to check in with Dr. Douglas.

Eye Exercises After Orbital Decompression

Throughout the entire recovery process, from the first night after surgery and through until about 2 weeks after, it is important to do eye exercises. This means looking all the way one way, and the other way, as well as up and down. This really helps to get the eyes moving, reduces the chance of double-vision, and reduces inflammation as much as possible.

What Do Patients Say About The Recovery?

“The hardest part of my two orbital decompression recoveries in 2015 was my adverse reactions to anesthesia, which is always a problem for me personally. Good news is… I experienced a very tolerable amount of postoperative pain, managed nicely with Tylenol, Aleve, and ice packs. I felt pretty darn good a week post both surgeries! The worst part of orbital decompression surgery is actually the fear beforehand. After my first surgery, I was remarkably calm because I discovered that it wasn’t nearly as painful or scary as my mind had led me to believe. The best part…the restoration of your appearance, which makes all the temporary discomfort worthwhile!! Unfortunately, because of severe dry eye, which I never had prior to my Grave’s eye disease, I was not able to get the subsequent eyelid surgeries that would’ve made my eyes look even more normal, but I am very grateful that Dr. Douglas put my eyeballs back where they belong!” -Sue

Contact Dr. Douglas Today!

If you are considering orbital decompression for your thyroid eye disease, please contact our office today. Dr. Douglas is a world-renowned orbital decompression surgery and will provide you with the best results possible so you can be you again! If you have any questions after reading our Guide To Orbital Decompression Recovery, do not hesitate to call our office at 310.657.4302.

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Posted in: Orbital Decompression Surgery, Thyroid Thursday

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