Orbital Surgery Specialist

Emily Sarah Charlson, M.D., Ph.D. -  - Ophthalmology, Cosmetic and Reconstructive Eyelid and Facial Surgery

Emily Sarah Charlson, M.D., Ph.D.

Ophthalmology, Cosmetic and Reconstructive Eyelid and Facial Surgery located in Pacific Heights, San Francisco, CA

When you suffer trauma to an eye or you’re diagnosed with an eye disease, orbital surgery may be necessary to reduce pain and preserve your vision. Emily Sarah Charlson, MD, PhD, is an esteemed member of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS), and she specializes in orbital reconstructive surgery. Call the Pacific Heights office in San Francisco, California, or book a consultation online to learn more about your treatment options.

Orbital Surgery Q & A

What is orbital surgery?

Orbital surgery is performed in your eye socket. The goal of orbital surgery is to repair the muscle, tissue, and nerves surrounding the eye. 

You might need orbital surgery if you suffer an orbital fracture — a broken bone around your eyeball — or other orbital trauma that affects your eye or the muscles and tissues surrounding it. Orbital surgery can also be a treatment option for medical conditions like eye tumors, eye cancer, and thyroid eye disease.

When you visit Dr. Charlson for an orbital surgery consultation, she begins by performing a comprehensive exam and reviewing your medical history. She works with you to develop a personalized treatment plan for your eye health.

How are eye tumors treated?

Orbital tumors are abnormal growths in or around the eye. They can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous), but even benign tumors can cause unpleasant symptoms and impair your eye function.

Small tumors may be removed with surgery. In cases of eye cancer or very large tumors, enucleation may be necessary. During this procedure, Dr. Charlson surgically removes the eye, leaving the eye muscles and other orbital contents intact. 

You can get a prosthetic eye following enucleation surgery. A prosthetic eye fits over an orbital implant and under your eyelids. Although you can’t see through a prosthetic eye, it looks just like a natural eye.

What are the treatment options for thyroid eye disease?

Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid, can cause thyroid eye disease. Also called Graves’ eye disease, thyroid eye disease can make eyes bulge out (proptosis) and cause other symptoms like irritation, excessive tearing, or sensitivity to light.

Patients with thyroid eye disease may be candidates for TEPEZZA®, a prescription drug that treats the cause of the condition. A series of eight infusions can relieve symptoms so that surgery isn’t necessary.

If TEPEZZA isn’t right for you, Dr. Charlson may recommend decompression surgery. Decompression surgery can be effective in relieving pressure on the optic nerve, to improve the appearance of eyes and minimize symptoms.

Orbital surgery can preserve eye health and vision, whether you’ve suffered an injury or you have a chronic condition like thyroid eye disease. For your surgery consultation, call Dr. Charlson or book online today.