What is an Oculoplastic Surgeon?
Oculoplastic surgeons are ophthalmologists (eye doctors) who have specialised in eyelid and facial plastic surgery. Oculoplastic surgeons are trained to do many different types of eyelid and facial surgery, ranging from simple eyelid malpositions to more complex reconstruction involving the eyelids and surrounding forehead, temporal and cheek areas. They understand the delicate anatomy and function of the eyelids and their surrounding structures. As well as the eyelids, they specialise in the lacrimal (tear) system, the orbit (bone cavity around the eye), adjacent periocular (around the eyes) and facial structures and the forehead and cheeks.
Oculoplastic surgeons are also known as ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgeons and oculo-facial surgeons.
- Oculoplastic surgeons assess the surface health of the eyes and function of the eyelids prior to eyelid plastic surgery
- As dedicated eyelid plastic surgeons, an oculoplastic surgeon routinely does surgeries in these areas, and recognises potential problems
- Oculoplastic surgeons are trained to manage the complications or eyelid and facial plastic surgery which can involve the eye itself
- Oculoplastic surgeons have a professional society which helps them maintain a high standard of care, called the British Oculoplastic Surgey Society.
Why are Oculoplastic Surgeons important around the eyes?
Oculoplastic surgeons are trained ophthalmologists (eye doctors) who understand how eyelid surgery can affect the comfort of the eye and the clarity of vision. They are accustomed to working around the eye and face.
The following is a look at some of the common procedures that are included in oculopastic surgery:
Eyelid surgeries including the following: blepharoplasty, also known as an eyelift. Blepharoplasty is plastic surgery of the eyelids to remove excessive skin or subcutaneous fat. You can also get asian blepharoplasty, which is ptosis repair for droopy eyelid. Other eyelid surgery includes ectropion repair, which is repair for outturning lid margins; entropion repair, which is surgery for inturning lid margins; canthal resection, which is a canthectomy, or in other words it is the surgical removal of tissue at the junction of the upper and lower eyelids. You can get a canthorrhaphy, which is suturing of the outer canthus to shorten the palpebral fissure. You can get various canthotomy procedures, for the outer canthus, lateral canthus, etc. Epicanthoplasty. Tarsorrhaphy, which is a procedure in which the eyelids are partially sewn together to narrow the opening..
Basically when you are in need of eye surgery, and it is not a vision correction surgery, it usually has something to do with surgery of the eyelid or surrounding areas, and it is going to be performed by an oculopastic surgeon. They may do this surgery to remove eyelid cysts or tumors, or to repair or improve malpositions of the eyelids, such as drooping, inturning, outturning, lid margin issues, thyroid eye disease, watering eyes, eyes that have obstructions in the tear ducts, facial palsy rehabilitation, and even the insertion of artificial, or prosthetic eyes.
Oculoplastic surgeons also undertake aesthetic treatments and surgery to improve the cosmetic appearance of the face, such as blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) to remove excess overhanging skin of the upper eyelids and puffy bags from under the eyes. They also perform brow lift, Botox and dermal filler injections to remove wrinkles such as crow’s feet or forehead lines.
Because of an eyelid specialist’s advanced training and experience in both ophthalmology and cosmetic and corrective eyelid surgery, he or she is especially well qualified to assess the impact of the eyelid on the health of the eye itself. Many patients feel more comfortable knowing that their eyelid surgeon possesses such expertise.
Any licensed physician, however, may choose to perform eyelid surgery. While most general plastic surgeons and some general ophthalmologists provide certain types of eyelid surgery, in Ventura County, for instance, blepharoplasty has also been offered by a family practitioner, an obstetrician, and even by a dentist “specializing” in cosmetic surgery.
When assessing a potential surgeon’s qualifications, bear in mind that the delicate eyelid tissue is intended to protect and nurture the eye and is not merely a facial adornment.