• This retrospective study found a 35 percent incidence of oscillopsia after lateral wall orbital decompression, much higher than the authors anticipated. However, in almost all cases, oscillopsia resolved or was not troublesome.

    Subjects were a consecutive group of patients who had undergone lateral wall orbital decompression for thyroid eye disease performed by two consultants at Moorfields Eye Hospital between 2008 and 2010. Patients were interviewed by telephone using a standardized questionnaire related to postoperative oscillopsia. The degree of preoperative and late postoperative exophthalmometry was assessed from clinical records.

    Of the 98 patients interviewed successfully, 34 (35 percent) noted postoperative oscillopsia that occurred upon chewing and/or walking. The authors note that this number was much higher than they expected based on their own extensive clinical experience in which very few patients mention the symptom.

    Oscillopsia resolved within a year in 44 percent of these patients. However, 47 percent still had mild symptoms two years or more after surgery. While 14 patients (41 percent of affected patients) were initially troubled by the symptom, by the time of the interview only one still found it troublesome and seven called it a minimal problem.

    The authors conclude that these results have direct benefits for clinical practice because they can be used in preoperative counseling, noted on patient information sheets and discussed when obtaining informed consent for the procedure.