Brimonidine for Intraoperative Hemostasis

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    University of Louisville
Updated on 6 February 2023
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The purpose of this study is to observe and report the effects of topical ophthalmic brimonidine in oculofacial plastic surgery.


Brimonidine ophthalmic solution (Alphagan) is mainstay in glaucoma therapy to reduce intraocular pressure. The medication is an alpha2 adrenergic agonist, which increases uveoscleral outflow of aqueous humor. Alpha2 agonists also have vasoconstrictive properties, which has been utilized in over-the-counter medications like Lumify for redness relief. An unexploited utility of its vasoconstrictive property is reduction in intraoperative bleeding during ophthalmic surgery. The purpose of this study is to observe and report the effects of brimonidine in oculofacial plastic surgery.

There are reports in ophthalmic literature that observe the hemostatic effect of topical brimonidine across different subspecialties. It has been shown to reduce intraoperative bleeding and post-operative subconjunctival hemorrhages in pterygium removal, strabismus surgery, LASIK, and cataract surgery. One study claimed that it had a comparable hemostatic effect to phenylephrine.

Many of the procedures in oculoplastic surgery involve manipulation and incision of eyelid skin and conjunctival tissue. Some examples include blepharoplasty, ptosis repair, medial spindles, lateral tarsal strips, canthotomy and cantholysis with subsequent repair, retraction repair, and orbital fracture repair. Rapid and adequate control of intraoperative bleeding is crucial to the success of oculoplastic surgery. Although surgeons take proper precautions to prevent inadequate hemostasis (discontinuing blood thinners, use of electrocautery, and administration of intradermal epinephrine), excessive bleeding can still occur. This can impair surgeon performance by obscuring visualization, and negatively affect the patient due to prolonged operative times, and delayed healing due to hematoma formation. The most feared complication of oculoplastic surgery is intraorbital hemorrhage, which can cause orbital compartment syndrome causing vision loss.

Therefore, any intervention to minimize bleeding is very advantageous to the patient. Use of Brimonidine drops intraoperatively will improve hemostasis, resulting in improved visualization, reduced operative time under anesthesia, and reduced risk of significant intraorbital hemorrhage. Due to both brimonidine's vasoconstrictive properties and relatively favorable safety profile, it raises the question: can brimonidine be used to achieve better hemostasis in oculoplastic procedures?

Condition Dermatochalasis of Eyelid, Ptosis, Eyelid, Ectropion, Entropion
Treatment Brimonidine Topical
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05480098
SponsorUniversity of Louisville
Last Modified on6 February 2023

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