An orbital rim implant procedure is a plastic surgery performed to treat hollowness beneath the lower eyelid (near the rim of the bony socket under the eye). This is most often due to upper cheek fat loss and sagging of the cheek’s upper tissues as a consequence of aging, but can also result when too much fat has been removed in a lower eyelid blepharoplasty, or even due to a genetically inadequate development of the bone of the upper cheek. This under-eye hollowness is sometimes called a “tear trough” because in those without this problem, the tear drops roll down the front of the face; in those with this hollowness, the tears roll to the nasal side of the face, in that hollow trough.
If the indentation or hollowness is not effectively treated with fillers or fat injections, an orbital rim implant is inserted as a permanent solution.
The implants themselves may be hard implantable material such as silicone or Medpore, or demineralized bone. They can be inserted as a standalone procedure or along with other facial procedures such as blepharoplasty or face lift.
Orbital rim implant surgery can be performed on any healthy adult with the problems noted above. Your surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits of orbital rim implant surgery at your consultation to confirm that an orbital rim implant is the best course of action for your particular needs.
How the Procedure is Performed
Orbital rim implant procedures are performed under general anesthesia in our Boca Raton accredited in-office surgery suite on an outpatient basis. During the procedure, an incision is placed in the lower eyelid skin and/or the eyelid conjunctiva, and then secured to the orbital bone with a small screw. Placement of the implant though the mouth may minimize incisions around the eyelid. Therefore, there is no visible scar afterwards. Once inserted, the surrounding tissue is stitched to hold the implant in place. The procedure takes about 60 minutes per eye.
What to Expect During Recovery
For an orbital rim implant procedure, recovery time is very brief but may be slightly longer if additional procedures were done at the same time, such as a rhinoplasty or face lift. You will experience some swelling and bruising which can be relieved with Tylenol and ice packs. Most patients are back to full activity within 14 days. When you leave our office after the procedure, your follow-up appointment will be set and you’ll visit us within a few days to check on your progress. You should avoid rubbing your eyes after the procedure, and if you go outside, be sure to wear sunglasses and/or a hat to avoid squinting, which will be uncomfortable at first. You may find it more comfortable to sleep in a comfortable chair the first few nights, to avoid swelling in the area.