Oculoplastic surgery, which is sometimes also referred to as oculoplasty, oculoplastics, or ophthalmic plastic surgery, is a wide range of procedures that involve the eye and related structures, like the brow, socket, and tear ducts.
This specialty includes both functional and cosmetic repairs. Functional repairs include surgery used to fix a visual impairment or eye condition of some sort – many times these procedures are covered by insurance. Cosmetic repairs are done for aesthetic improvement, are elective, and are often not covered by insurance.
Oculoplasty includes procedures including:
– Reconstruction of eyelid
– Frontails Sling
– Repair of Orbital Fracture
– Direct Browpexy
– Indirect Browpexy
– Ptosis Repair
– Upper Lid Entropion Repair
– AKA – Lash Ptosis Repair
– Tarsel Strip
– Temporal Artery Biopsy
– Wedge Resection of eyelid
– Eye Muscle Recession
– Eye Muscle Resection
Having an eyelid problem can be painful, limit your vision, and affect your appearance. Many people have eyelid problems. They may include droopy upper eyelids, extra eyelid skin, or eyelids that turn inward or outward. Fortunately, our ophthalmologists can treat many types of eyelid problems with surgery.
Common procedures include repair of blepharoplasty (eye lift), ptosis (droopy eyelids), and ectropion eyelids (turned outward) or entropion eyelids (turned inward).
Blepharoplasty is commonly referred to as an eye-lift. Your eyelid skin is very thin and tends to stretch over time. Sometimes it stretches too much, causing excess eyelid skin. When this happens to the upper eyelid, it can limit your side vision. When lower eyelid skin stretches, you may have what some people call “bags” under the eyes.
During a blepharoplasty, our ophthalmologists will remove excess skin from the upper or lower lid, which is often accentuated with age. At the same time, our surgeons may also remove extra fatty tissue near the eyelid or tighten muscles and tissue. This surgery helps make the area around the eye and lid look more clearly defined. It also makes eyes appear less tired and more alert.
Ptosis is when one or both of your upper eyelids droop. It can limit your peripheral (side) or central (straight ahead) vision. If you have ptosis in only one eye, your face may look uneven. If both eyelids droop, you can look tired.
Someone can be born with ptosis. In this case, a child may lift their eyebrows or tilt their head back to be able to see. Ptosis can seriously limit the development of sharp vision. When a child’s eyelids are droopy or incorrectly shaped, both eyes usually do not focus evenly. He or she may need eyeglasses to see clearly. After a complete eye exam, the child’s ophthalmologist may recommend surgery to fix the eyelid. This surgery is usually done during the preschool years (ages 3 to 5).
Ptosis can also develop later in adult life. It sometimes begins after having other types of eye surgery or eyelid swelling. With ptosis surgery, your ophthalmologist strengthens the eyelid muscle by shortening it. This helps lift the droopy lid, improving vision as well as the eye’s appearance.
When the lower eyelid droops down and turns outward, it is called ectropion. This can happen due to age, skin disease, a tumor, a trauma, or a burn to the eyelid. Ectropion can make your eyes dry, watery and sensitive to light and wind.
If the lower eyelid turns in toward the eyeball it is called entropion. This condition can develop due to age, infection, or scarring inside the eyelid. When the eyelid turns inward, your eyelashes and skin may rub against the eye. This can make your eye red, watery and very irritated. If it is not treated, entropion may also lead to an infection of your cornea (the clear dome-shaped window at the front of the eye).
Surgery for ectropion and entropion returns the eyelid to its normal position. This helps reduce painful and irritating symptoms and protects your eye.
What To Expect From Eyelid Surgery
Nearly all eyelid surgery is done as an outpatient procedure. A local anesthesia will be used to numb your eye and the area around it.
Before surgery, your ophthalmologist will do a complete eye exam and talk with you about treatment options. He or she may also take photos of your eyes and test your side vision.
Eyelid Surgery Tips
Before eyelid surgery, be sure to tell your ophthalmologist about all the medicines you take. Include all prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. It is important for your eye surgeon to know if you take aspirin (or aspirin-containing drugs) or blood thinners, or if you have a bleeding problem. As with any type of surgery, there are possible risks and complications with eyelid surgery. Your ophthalmologist will discuss these with you.