What is oculoplastics?
Oculoplastics, also known as oculoplastic surgery, is an umbrella term for a number of surgical procedures on the eye and the surrounding structures, including the eye socket, eyelids, tear ducts, and parts of the face.
Oculoplastic surgeons are specialised ophthalmologists, who have undergone additional fellowship training. Some surgeons from certain other specialties, such as plastic surgeons, ENT surgeons, and oral and maxillofacial surgeons may be trained in some procedures that fall under oculoplastics.
Why is it done?
Oculoplastic procedures may be done for a number of reasons. Many, such as upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty, eye bag removal and eyebrow lifts, are done for cosmetic reasons, while others, such as eyelid repair for entropion, ectropion and ptosis are done for functional reasons – to make life easier for the patient. Other procedures, such as eye removal and reconstruction may be essential for the patient’s wellbeing.
What does oculoplastic surgery involve?
Oculoplastics can involve a number of techniques, depending on the specific operation. Oculoplastic procedures can range from the cosmetic, such as Botox injections, liposuction, and blepharoplasty to essential surgery, such as eye removal and orbital reconstruction.
Types of oculoplastic procedures
- upper eyelid blepharoplasty – removal of excessive upper eyelid skin and hooding
- lower eyelid blepharoplasty – a procedure to reduce bags by removing excessive skin and subcutaneous fat
- brow lifting – raising or reshaping of the brow
- ptosis (droopy eyelid) repair
- lower eyelid entropion (inturning) or ectropion (out turning) repair
Eyelid lesions benign and cancerous
- excision or biopsy of cysts/moles/lesions of the eyelids
- eyelid tumour removal – the eyelids can be affected by skin cancers, like basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma
Tear duct surgery
- procedures to reduce watering and unblock tear ducts
- biopsy or removal of a lacrimal gland
- removal of part of a lacrimal sac
- Complete removal of the eye and possibly also the connecting tissue and muscles – usually done due to the presence of a malignant orbital tumour.
- Removal of the inside of the eye, leaving the scleral shell – usually done to reduce pain in a blind eye.
- artificial eyes
- orbital decompression for Graves’ disease