Eye plastic surgeons, also called oculoplastic surgeons, are ophthalmologists who have finished some other extensive training in this sub-specialty. Our surgeons are considered oculo facial surgeons and perform eyelid lifts, forehead lifts, face and neck lifts, injectables such as botox, and fillers for the full face.
Surgeries an Oculoplastic Surgeon Performs
Oculoplastic surgeons perform a number of different procedures on various parts of the eye.
Eyelids are small, delicate structures of the eye that help maintain the health and protect it. There are a number of problems that can involve the eyelids and oculoplastic surgeons can help with these issues. When you age, the skin thins out and the tissue sags and stretches and can lose shape. This becomes apparent in the eyelids. If there are heavy upper eyelids then this can interfere with vision and surgery can be done. Baggy eyelids can also be treated. Lower eyelids surgery can help your appearance and is a common surgical procedure. Not only can eyelids sag and droop with age and cause problems, but they can also turn in or away from the eye. Surgery can treat these issues along with other problems, such as styes, benign warts, or malignant lesions on the eyelids.
The orbit houses the eye and the structures that support the eye function, such as blood vessels, nerves, and muscles. There are a number of problems that can happen in the eye socket and cause issues for the function of the eye. These can include injuries, infections, and tumors, as well as an inflammatory disease, such as Graves’ disease. Graves’ disease can affect the muscles, eyelids, and other tissue around the eye. If these problems happen in the eye socket then a patient can experience swelling, pain, loss of vision, or double vision. Surgery may need to be done in order to fix these issues.
Tear Duct Surgery
Tear ducts are there to drain tears from the eye surface. If they aren’t working properly then you can have irritated, red, or watery eyes, along with eye infections. Tear duct surgery can be used to explore the issue and potentially reconstruct the ducts, depending on the location of the closure or obstruction.
Facial Rejuvenation Surgeries
The aging process shows up a lot around the eyes in the form of sagging, wrinkles, and heaviness. Some people want to fix these changes with surgery, and procedures to lift and sculpt the eyes and face can be done by an oculoplastic surgeon.
Difference Between an Oculoplastic Surgeon and Plastic Surgeon
It’s important to choose an oculoplastic surgeon, instead of a general plastic surgeon, for these types of surgeries. Oculoplastic surgeons work exclusively with the eyes and a plastic surgeon has a much broader field and is trained in more areas of the body. An oculoplastic surgeon is also an ophthalmologist, trained to treat ocular diseases, so they know what to look for and how to recognize and treat issues with vision. Even though there are some plastic surgeons with experience with eye-related issues, vision is something you don’t want to mess with. With an oculoplastic surgeon, you can take advantage of their specialized training and better familiarity to make sure everything in the eye is working together. Both plastic surgery and oculoplastic surgery can be used to help achieve a more youthful appearance and both can be used for medical issues.
Reasons to Visit an Oculoplastic Surgeon
There are a number of conditions where a visit to an oculoplastic surgeon is necessary. You may start with a visit to your regular eye doctor who can refer you to a surgeon.
If you have sagging eyelids then blepharoplasty can fix this condition. This is a surgical procedure that is designed to correct the deformities of the eyelids. It’s also a common aesthetic eye procedure that an oculoplastic surgeon is trained to do. Baggy eyes or sagging eyelids are a cosmetic condition where you have excess upper eyelid skin. This condition can make you look older but it can also impair your vision if the skin is sagging into the field of vision, making this condition dangerous. Blepharoplasty removes the excess and puffy skin around the eyes in order to help restore a youthful appearance and make it easier to see.
Eyelids Pulling Inward or Outward
Entropion is when your eyelids are turning inward and ectropion is when your eyelids are turning outward. Both conditions can lead to eye irritation that is chronic and can also cause damage to the cornea. Removing some of the skin and stitching the eyelids back together can help restore the tightness and fix either condition.
Skin Cancer or Growth
The thinnest skin is on the eyelids, which means this skin can be more prone to skin cancer, sun damage, and benign growths. Our team does cancer reconstruction following Mohs surgery that are too close to the eyelid margin. We work in conjunction with local dermatologist that feel the cancerous section is too close to the eye for their comfort. The Ophthalmologist training our Oculoplastic surgeons have allows them to treat these issues if something happens to the eye. Oculoplastic surgeons can help diagnose any skin growths you have and make sure that you get the proper treatment.
Your lacrimal glands are found above each of your eyelids. These glands are responsible for your tear supply and keeping the surface of your eye lubricated and smooth. This is necessary in order to have light be refracted correctly so you are able to see. If you have too few tears or an overproduction then it can cause problems. An oculoplastic surgeon can perform surgery on your tear ducts in order to restore normal tear function.
What Happens Before an Eyelid Surgery Procedure?
Depending on your condition, instructions can vary. You will be given specific instructions from your oculoplastic surgeon based on your upcoming procedure. For most procedures such as eyelid surgery, you will need to stop any blood-thinning medications and make sure that you are seen by a health care provider to do some tests to make sure it’s safe to have the surgery. In order to help with healing, you should stop smoking two to three weeks before, as well as after surgery. It’s important to plan ahead so you have someone to drive you home after the surgery.
The day of eyelid surgery, both upper and lower, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Do not eat or drink anything.
- Avoid slipover clothing.
- Do not wear jewelry.
- Do not wear makeup.
- Do not wear contact lenses.
What to Expect During Your Procedure
For many of the procedures an oculoplastic surgeon performs, you are able to go home the same day. Procedures can take place at your provider’s office, an outpatient facility, or a hospital. Depending on the type of surgery you are having, you will be given general or local anesthesia. Local anesthesia just numbs the area so that you don’t feel any pain, while general anesthesia will put you to sleep. While you are in surgery, the surgeon may use special contact lenses on your eyes in order to protect your eyes and shield them from the bright lights of the room.
Specific to upper and lower eyelid surgery, incisions are made in the natural folds of the eyelid, in the crease of the upper eyelid and just beneath the lashes or behind the lower eyelid. This way, incisions are hidden and least noticeable. Tissues of the eyelid are removed with surgical instruments. Sutures or tissue adhesives would be carefully applied to smooth and reconfigure areas around the eyebrows and eyelids after the cuts have been made.
Self-Care at Home
Recovery can be different depending on the procedure you undergo. While you should follow the specific instructions your surgeon gives you, there are a few general instructions to follow. There can be bruising, swelling, or pain after the surgery. In order to reduce bruising and swelling, you may be advised to use cold packs over the area. You might need to avoid activities that increase your blood pressure for three weeks after surgery. This includes things such as lifting heavy objects or exercising. You might need to stop certain medications and should avoid alcohol for one week after your procedure.
It’s important to be careful of the incision site after surgery. You should be careful when bathing and your surgeon can give you instructions on how to properly clean the area. Propping your head up with some pillows while you sleep can help you reduce the swelling.
You will have a follow-up appointment within the week after surgery. If your procedure required that you have stitches, then you will get them removed at this visit. Most people are going to be able to go back to work and resume other activities within two weeks after surgery. This can vary depending on the surgery you had. It’s normal to have some increased tears after the procedure, as well as increased sensitivity to light or wind. Blurry or double vision for a few weeks after surgery can also be normal. It’s important to contact your provider if you have any concerns or questions.
When Should You Call Your Surgeon After Surgery?
There are some instances when you may need to contact your oncoplastic surgeon as soon as possible. This includes having any pain after taking pain relievers, signs of infection, such as an increase in swelling or fluid draining, an incision that is not healing, or vision that is getting worse.
Contact Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute
If you are experiencing vision problems due to issues that can be corrected with surgery, contact the oculoplastic surgeons at Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute. Contact us for an appointment.