Definition of Lateral Canthotomy and Cantholysis

Reviewed on 2/19/2021

Lateral canthotomy and cantholysis is a surgical procedure most commonly used for the emergency treatment of orbital compartment syndrome, which is an emergency condition characterized by increased pressure within the orbit of the eye due to any cause. Immediate treatment is required to preserve vision. With lateral canthotomy and cantholysis, the lateral canthal tendons that attach the eyelids to the orbital rim are cut so that the pressure within the orbit can be released. This procedure is also performed on the medial canthal tendons (medial canthotomy and cantholysis).


What causes dry eyes? See Answer
Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.

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