Eye surgeons or oculoplastic surgeons are basically ophthalmologists who specialize in the area of eye surgery that deals with eye lids, the face, the tear ducts, and the eye socket or orbit. They also specialize in reconstructive surgery for the eyes and related features.
Oculoplastic surgeons begin their career by studying three full years of ophthalmology, which is the area of medicine that deals with the study of the human eye. Ophthalmologists specialize in studying the physiology and anatomy of the eye, as well as the diseases and conditions that affect it. An ophthalmologist who specializes in surgery is known as an ophthalmic surgeon. An ophthalmic surgeon who goes onto pursue two extra years of fellowship training in ‘Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery or Oculoplastics’ is recognized as an Oculoplastic Surgeon.
The main difference between an ophthalmic surgeon and an oculoplastic surgeon is that the former operates and treats medical conditions and various diseases that affect the eyes, whereas the latter focuses more on cosmetic surgery. Oculoplastic Surgeons possess a unique skill set that combines Ophthalmology and Plastic/Reconstructive Surgery. This allows them to develop a deeper understanding of the eyelid anatomy and the complex aspects of surgery related to this area. They have a broader approach to studying the eyelid anatomy and its influence on facial expression and ocular function.
What do Oculoplastic surgeons do?
Oculoplastic surgeons conduct a wide variety of cosmetic surgeries, the most common one being eyelid surgery. They perform procedures that involve fixing of droopy eyelids, eyelid reconstruction, fixing orbital fractures, tumor removal from the eyes and around it, and fixing tear duct blocks.
Some common oculoplastic surgeries include:
1. Blepharoplasty: Blepharoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure that is done to correct any defect or deformities in the eyelid. The procedure involves removing excess tissue such as adipocyte fat and skin and strengthening the corresponding tendons and muscles. The surgery is also carried out to restore functional capabilities and fix cosmetic issues affecting the area between the upper cheeks and eyebrows.
2. Ptosis: Ptosis is characterized by dropping upper or lower eyelids. This condition is caused when the eyelid muscles are too weak to move. Oculoplastic surgeons fix this problem by tightening the muscles responsible for controlling the eyelid. However, Ptosis can occur for various reasons apart from just weak muscles. In that case, an oculoplastic surgeon will determine what surgical method is best depending on the severity of the Ptosis.
3. Entropion: Entropion is a condition that affects the eyelids and is characterized by inward folding eyelids, especially the lower ones. This can cause severe irritation as the eye lashes start rubbing against the cornea. Entropion is usually caused due to genetic factors. Oculoplastic surgeons correct the issue by performing an uncomplicated surgery that either involves shortening the tendons and muscles or the removal of excess skin from the eyelids.
4. Ectropion: This is also a genetic condition similar to Entropion, with the main difference being that the lower eyelids here turn outwards instead of inward. This happens when the muscles of the lower eyelids start to become weak. The surgical procedure to correct this issue is similar to the one used to correct Entropion.
Apart from surgical procedures, oculoplastic surgeons also carry out non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox, Browplasty, Dermal Fillers, and Facial Liposuction.
If you are on the hunt for an eye/oculoplastic surgeon in Palm Springs or Palm Desert, look no further than Dr. Jennifer Hui. Book a consultation with her to know more about eye related cosmetic procedures.