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Intraocular pressure variations during zygomatic fracture reduction and fixation: a clinical study.BACKGROUND: The reduction of midface fractures has been associated with the rare but devastating complication of blindness. An increase in intraocular pressure is important in the mechanism of blindness in this setting. In this study, the authors assessed the intraocular pressure in patients who underwent zygomatic fracture reduction (with or without fixation). METHODS: Using applanation tonometry, 29 patients underwent intraocular pressure measurements before, during, and after fracture fixation. The contralateral pressures were measured and used as the control. RESULTS: There were 29 patients with a mean age of 35 years, and the mean time to surgery was 5 days. Preoperatively, all patients had normal intraocular pressures and normal visual acuity. All patients underwent a Gillies lift and 18 patients required open reduction and fixation of the frontozygomatic suture (n = 4) or the infraorbital margin (n = 2), and the remainder (n = 12) required fixation of both points. There was no statistically significant increase in the intraocular pressures following the reduction of uncomplicated zygomatic fractures. Statistically significant pressure reductions were noted immediately after reduction and fixation. CONCLUSIONS: The surgical reduction of uncomplicated zygomatic fractures has no adverse effect on the intraocular pressure. It is the authors' opinion that adjunctive measures to reduce the pressures are unnecessary.