Chronic anophthalmic socket pain treated by implant removal and dermis fat graft

Pari N. Shams, Elin Bohman, Meredith S. Baker, Amanda C. Maltry, Eva Dafgard Kopp, Richard C. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Aims To report the outcome of orbital implant removal and dermis fat graft (DFG) implantation in patients with chronic anophthalmic socket pain (ASP), in whom all detectable causes of pain had been ruled out and medical management had failed. Methods Retrospective, multicentre case series. A review of all cases undergoing orbital implant replacement with DFG between 2007 and 2013 was conducted at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC), USA, and St. Erik Eye Hospital, Sweden. Inclusion criteria included (1) chronic ASP >2 years and unresponsive to treatment, (2) absence of pathological or structural cause for pain established by socket examination and orbital imaging, and (3) minimum 12-month post-surgical follow-up. Results Six cases with chronic ASP were identified, four were post-enucleation and two were eviscerated at an average age of 45 years. The incidence of chronic ASP among enucleations at UIHC over a 6-year period was 0.7%. Indications for enucleation and evisceration included tumours and glaucoma. Intractable ASP had been present for an average of 11 years and persisted despite medical management. All patients were free of pain within 3 months of implant removal and DFG placement and remained pain free at an average 24 months following surgery. Conclusions Orbital implant replacement with DFG was effective at relieving chronic ASP, and pain resolution was sustained in all cases. This surgical intervention may be a useful management option for patients in whom all detectable causes of chronic pain have been excluded and have failed medical pain management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1692-1696
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2015


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