Objective To develop and evaluate a minimally invasive technique of lateral orbitotomy that provides improved orbital access with fewer complications.
Methods A cadaver study was undertaken to develop a technique of transconjunctival lateral orbitotomy that preserves the structural integrity of the eyelid support system and provides extended access to the orbit from floor to roof. We then evaluated the procedure in an outcome study of 30 consecutive patients.
Results The cadaver investigations demonstrated that a transconjunctival lateral retrocanthal approach is technically possible and provides improved direct access to the lateral orbit. In the study of 30 consecutive procedures, there were no complications resulting from the surgical access. The wound healing was rapid, without tissue distortion or scars. The exposure was ample for all surgical interventions.
Conclusions Lateral retrocanthal orbitotomy is a new approach that provides extended access to the entire lateral orbit. The technique is rapid and can be extended in a single continuous incision to the medial orbit. The structural integrity of the lateral retinaculum is preserved, which appears to improve the postoperative cosmetic and functional result.