The outcome of surgery is dependent on a number of factors. For this reason it is not always helpful for patients to meet patients who have undergone such surgery as direct comparisons cannot be made and expectations may be raised to a level which cannot be achieved. The variables include:
- The stage of the disease. Patients with chronic disease tend to have scarring within the orbital fat which does not prolapse into the spaces created by the surgery. Such fat may also be difficult to remove.
- The size of the eye muscles. It is difficult to gain good cosmetic results for patients who have massively enlarged and fibrotic (scarred) eye muscles.
- The size of the bony orbit. Some patients have shallow orbits which are difficult to enlarge. Additional surgical procedures are helpful in these cases as e.g.lateral and anterior positioning of the bony orbital rim.
- The size of the eye. Short-sighted (myopic) patients tend to have large eyes compounding the problem of protrusive eyes. They may create problems in achieving good results from cosmetic decompressive surgery.
- The size of the sinuses adjacent to the orbit. Some patients have under-developed sinuses which do not permit a great deal of soft tissue prolapse from the orbit.