Video:Lateral canthotomy

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Lateral canthotomy (Tutorial)
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Lateral canthotomy is an emergency procedure used to treat acute orbital compartment syndrome. This generally occurs as a result of bleeding behind the eye ball.


This condition presents with increased intraocular pressure, decreased ability to move the eye, and dilation of the opposite pupil when light is swung to shine in the affected eye.


Step 0

The person should generally be sedated before the procedure is started.


Step 1

Freezing, with lidocaine with epinephrine, is than injected lateral to the eye and the area cleaned.

Step 2

This tissue is than clamped with a hemostat, to make it thinner and decrease bleeding.

Step 3

Using a pair of scissors the lateral canthus is than cut.

Step 4

The lower eyelid is than pull away using forceps.

Step 5

The inferior part of lateral tendon is than cut.

Step 6

If this is not sufficient than the upper part may also be cut.



Success results in an easily moveable lower eyelid and confirmed by decrease in intraocular pressure and improvement in vision.