Endoscopic Drainage of an Orbital Subperiosteal Abscess

Edited by: Edward El Rassi, MD


  • Pre-operative CT shows a left subperiosteal abscess with an air-fluid level.
  • Mucopurulent material is drained from adjacent ethmoid and maxillary sinuses.
  • Skeletonized lamina papyracea demonstrates a bony defect.
  • Portion of lamina papyracea is removed for adequate drainage of the subperiosteal abscess.
    Keep in Mind:

  • Orbital subperiosteal abscesses typically arise from untreated acute ethmoiditis.
  • Inflammed, edematous tissue from the acute infection will be encountered throughout the surgical dissection.
  • Adequate decompression of the lamina papyracea is necessary to ensure adequate drainage and prevent recollection. Care should be taken not to injure the underlying periorbita and expose orbital fat.
  • Culture directed antibiotic therapy is necessary to ensure complete resolution of the infection.