Dr. Nicolas Biro, our newest oculoplastic, orbital, and eyelid specialist, is excited to bring a promising thyroid eye disease treatment to his patients in the Inland Empire. Added to our other medical and surgical treatments for thyroid eye disease is newly FDA approved, Tepezza® (teprotumumab), an innovative treatment for adults with thyroid eye disease (TED).

Dr. Biro said, “I’m excited that we can offer this new treatment for thyroid eye disease, which specifically targets the inflammatory protein that causes thyroid orbitopathy, IGF-1. This new drug represents a significant innovation in treating thyroid eye disease and is a big leap forward for patients suffering from this condition.”

Top things to know about Tepezza®

  • Tepezza® represents the first therapeutic agent available that is specifically targeted to reduce inflammation in the tissues involved in this autoimmune process and avoids the negative side effects associated with high-dose steroids.
  • The main benefit over previous treatments is the lower risk for side effects.
  • The treatment is administered as an infusion every three weeks for nine treatments, which can be done at home.

What is Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)?

TED is an autoimmune condition in which a person’s own immune system attacks the extraocular muscles (which move the eye up and down and left and right) as well as the periocular fat (which surrounds and protects the eye). This inflammatory process causes these structures to become fibrotic or scarred, resulting in eyelid retraction (pulling the upper and lower eyelids further apart), double vision, and swelling of the affected tissue which induces proptosis (causing the eyes to be pushed forward and bulge outwards).

What are the symptoms of Thyroid Eye Disease?

Patients with thyroid eye disease may experience eye pain, double vision, light sensitivity, or difficulty closing the eye. Over time, patients with this condition suffer cosmetic disfigurement, pain, and even vision loss.

Am I a candidate for Tepezza®?

The initial candidates for Tepezza® were patients with active ocular and orbital inflammation. However, recent studies show that it also helps patients in the chronic quiet phase; and it especially helps with chronic eye-bulging or proptosis. Our specialists can help decide if this treatment is best for you.

What other treatment options are offered for TED?

Thyroid eye disease affects all aspects of the orbit and eyelids. The orbital and eyelid specialists at Pacific Eye Institute are trained in the surgical and medical management of this condition and know that there is no one perfect solution for every patient. Surgical interventions include surgery to bring the eyelids back to their normal position, removing the excess orbital fat that produces the bulging and, in rare cases, fracturing of the bones around the eye to allow the eyes to recede into the eye socket. However, Tepezza® may be a beneficial treatment because it has the potential for fewer side effects and can often avoid surgery. However, it is important to note that even after Tepezza®, patients may still need surgery to restore their eyes back to their prior appearance.

If you are looking to learn more about this innovative new treatment plan or would like to schedule a discussion with one of our Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive surgeons, please request an appointment with our doctors today.