If you or someone you know suffers from Graves’ disease, also referred to as thyroid eye disease, you understand the importance of having not only one experienced surgeon by your side at all times, but the benefit that two different specialized surgeons bring to the table.
At La Peer Health Systems in Los Angeles, we take a unique team approach to Graves’ disease. Our team of expert oculoplastic surgeons work with patients to diagnose thyroid eye disease and offers personalized treatment plans. Plus, we are happy to respond to patients’ thyroid eye disease concerns and questions and ensure that patients receive comprehensive support at all times.
WHAT IS GRAVE’S DISEASE?
When a person is suffering from Grave’s disease, it means that their thyroid is overactive and producing far too many thyroid hormones, also known as hyperthyroidism. Grave’s disease is most commonly seen in individuals during their middle-aged years, though it can occur (rarely) at any point throughout a person’s life.
Graves’ Disease Causes
The causes of Graves’ disease include:
- Genes: If a parent, sibling or relative experienced Graves’ disease, an individual may be more susceptible than others to this condition.
- Gender: Research indicates sex hormones sometimes play a role in Graves’ disease. Additionally, Graves’ disease is more prominent in women than men.
- Stress: Emotional stress or trauma has been shown to trigger Graves’ disease symptoms.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy commonly affects the thyroid, and studies show some women who are diagnosed with Graves’ disease were pregnant in the 12 months before they experienced the onset of symptoms.
- Infection: Some medical experts believe infection may cause Graves’ disease symptoms; however, no studies currently support this claim.
Graves’ Disease Symptoms
The symptoms of Graves’ disease include:
- Eye disease
- Skin disease
- Weight loss
- Increased sensitivity to hot and cold
- Eye protrusion (pain in eye and dry eyes)
If a person experiences one or more of the aforementioned symptoms, it is important to consult with an oculoplastic surgeon. That way, an individual can receive proper thyroid eye disease diagnosis and treatment.
Is Graves’ Disease Hereditary?
Ultimately, many genetic and environmental factors may contribute to the development of Graves’ disease. Although genetics may increase an individual’s risk of thyroid eye disease, there are many other factors that also may cause this condition.
How Serious Is Graves’ Disease?
If Graves’ disease symptoms go unaddressed, the consequences can be serious. Graves’ disease has been linked to heart problems and weak and brittle bones. In some cases, thyroid eye disease can even lead to death.
For those who experience Graves’ disease symptoms, there is no need to wait to address these problems. By consulting with an oculoplastic surgeon, an individual can get the support that he or she needs to mitigate thyroid eye disease symptoms.
Graves’ Disease Treatment
Common Graves’ disease treatment options include:
- Radioactive iodine
- Antithyroid medications such as methimazole (Tapazole) and propylthiouracil (PTU)
- Beta blockers
In most instances, Graves’ disease medication offers a safe, effective treatment option for patients. If medication fails to deliver the ideal results, orbital decompression surgery may prove to be the optimal treatment for Graves’ disease.
What Is Orbital Decompression Surgery?
Orbital decompression surgery involves the partial or complete removal of one or more walls of the eye socket. It often requires the removal of bones that comprise the eye socket.
Today, endoscopic orbital decompression surgery is one of the most common procedures used to address Graves’ disease. It was introduced in the 1990s and enables an oculoplastic surgeon to decompress the eye without making incisions in the outside of the face.
Endoscopic orbital decompression surgery is a minimally invasive procedure. It involves the use of endoscopes (small, rigid telescopes) that enable a surgeon to enter the eye socket via the nose and sinuses. Then, the surgeon removes bony walls of the eye socket.
La Peer Health Systems offers full details about orbital decompression surgery for Graves’ disease patients. We provide orbital decompression surgery before and after photos and explain each step of the procedure. By doing so, we help Graves’ disease patients determine if this surgery can help them achieve their desired results.
Orbital Decompression Surgery Before and After
Following orbital decompression surgery, it’s normal to experience swelling and bruising for the next seven to 10 days. Over the course of the following weeks, patients will begin to feel better and back to normal.
Set Up a Consultation with an Orbital Decompression Surgeon in LA Today
Graves’ disease is a major problem for many people, but La Peer Health Systems employs friendly, knowledgeable oculoplastic surgeons to diagnose and treat this problem. If you’re interested in learning more about how our surgeons treat thyroid disease and thyroid eye disease, please contact our medical center at (855) 360-9119 to schedule an initial consultation.
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