An orbital inflammatory pseudotumor is an inflammatory reaction in the orbital tissues that surround the eyes. It is a chronic condition that acts much like a brain tumor. Unlike a tumor, however, the pseudotumor does not spread and does not invade nearby tissues. It will, however, compress nearby structures.
Orbital inflammatory pseudotumors may resolve on their own or with steroid treatment. In some cases, surgery is needed to relieve pressure on the eye. The preferred surgical treatment at UPMC for orbital inflammatory pseudotumors is the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This innovative, minimally invasive technique uses the nose and nasal cavities as natural corridors to access hard-to-reach or previously inoperable tumors. EEA offers the benefits of no incisions to heal, no disfigurement to the patient, and a faster recovery time.
For initial evaluation and treatment, you likely will be referred to an ophthalmologist, a physician who specializes in eye conditions. The ophthalmologist will ask about any symptoms you are experiencing. They may include:
- eye pain
- double vision
- restricted motion in the eye
- swollen and red eyelids
Your doctor will want you to have several imaging tests to confirm that it is a pseudotumor. Those tests will include CT or ultrasound scans.
In situations where the pseudotumor is mild, the inflammation may resolve without treatment. Many inflammatory pseudotumors are treated with steroid therapy. However, severe cases may cause damaging pressure on the eye. For those patients, surgery may be necessary to move the bones in the orbit to reduce the pressure.
The preferred surgical approach at UPMC for treating orbital inflammatory pseudotumors is the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This approach allows surgeons to see the lesion well without making incisions to the face or skull. The pressure is relieved through the nose and nasal cavities, and recovery time is faster than with the traditional approach.