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​Orbital Inflammatory Pseudotumor

Orbital pseudotumor is typically characterized by the rapid development of pain, proptosis, and swelling around the eye and orbit in adults.

Learn about the treatment options for Orbital Inflammatory Pseudotumor at the UPMC Pituitary Center of Excellence.

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What is Orbital Inflammatory Pseudotumor?

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.

When surgery is needed, UPMC surgeons prefer to use the minimally invasive 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. Benefits of EEA include:

  • No incisions to heal
  • No disfigurement
  • Faster recovery time

Diagnosing Orbital Inflammatory Pseudotumors

For initial evaluation and treatment, you likely will be referred to an ophthalmologist, a doctor who specializes in eye conditions.

Orbital inflammatory pseudotumor symptoms

Your doctor will ask about any symptoms you are experiencing.

Symptoms may include:

  • Eye pain
  • Double vision
  • Restricted motion in the eye
  • Swollen and red eyelids

Testing for orbital inflammatory pseudotumors

Your doctor will want you to have several imaging tests to confirm that it is a pseudotumor, including: 

  • CT scans
  • Ultrasounds

Orbital Inflammatory Pseudotumor Treatment

In situations where the orbital inflammatory 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 people, surgery may be necessary to move the bones in the orbit to reduce the pressure.

Surgery: Endoscopic Endonasal Approach

Orbital inflammatory pseudotumors may be approached directly using the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This state-of-the-art, minimally invasive approach allows surgeons to access the tumor through the natural corridor of the nose, without making an open incision. Surgeons then remove the orbital inflammatory pseudotumors  through the nose and nasal cavities.

EEA offers the benefits of no incisions to heal, no disfigurement, and a faster recovery time.

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