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Orbit. 2013 Jun;32(3):161-5. doi: 10.3109/01676830.2013.772208. Epub 2013 Mar 20.

Alphasphere as a successful ocular implant in primary enucleation and secondary orbital implant exchange.

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Metro Health Hospital, Michigan State University Ophthalmology Residency, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.



To describe the surgical technique for a novel poly-HEMA (2-hydroxyethyl methacralate)[PHEMA] implant (Alphasphere, Addition Technology, Des Plaines, IL) in primary enucleation and placement of secondary orbital implant.


Retrospective chart review of all patients receiving an Alphasphere implant for primary enucleation or secondary implant exchange from October 2009 to 2011. Interval follow-up was performed again on January 2013. Patient demographics, indications for surgery, and post-operative complications were reviewed.


Twelve patients received an Alphasphere implant for primary enucleation (n = 10) or secondary exchange (n = 2), with follow-up that ranged from 2 weeks to 14 months. The study included 9 adult and 3 pediatric patients with a mean age of 40 years, range 8-82 years. The indication for enucleation included: painful blind eye (n = 9), enophthalmos with difficult prosthesis fit in cases of secondary implant exchange (n = 2), and prophylaxis for sympathetic ophthalmia (n = 1). Only one patient required removal of the implant, due to a sinus infection with subsequent extrusion of the implant. Otherwise, the only other complication experienced was slight implant migration (n = 1).


This initial report indicates that Alphasphere can be successfully used in the management of an anophthalmic socket. The advantages of the Alphasphere implant include: it does not require tissue wrapping, extraocular muscles can be directly sutured to the implant, it maintains a smooth surface to limit risk of exposure due to conjunctival breakdown, and undergoes anterior orbital fibrovascular ingrowth which optimizes prosthesis location and socket motility.

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