Wisely Choosing an Eye Surgeon
Wisely Choosing an Eye Surgeon
Upon hosting various educational seminars, I have been amazed to find out that only a small percentage of the general public knows about oculoplastic surgery. This has fueled my desire to make it a priority to introduce and educate others about this sub-specialty.
Within the medical field, the face can be divided into three sections the orbital region, the nasal cavity, and the oral cavity. For each of these sections, there are specialists who are trained and qualified to deal with the trauma and repair of abnormalities of that specific area.
Some specialists become sub-specialists within these three areas ophthalmologists, otolarynologists (ear, nose and throat/ENT), and dentists pursue further training in order to deal with more complicated orbital, nasal, or oral repairs.
Ophthalmologists who are trained to repair orbital wall fractures, eyelid and eyebrow abnormalities, and nasolacrimal pathways (tear drainage areas) are known as oculoplastic surgeons.
Ear, nose and throat specialists who are trained to deal with the complexity of facial structures are known as ENT facial plastic surgeons.
Dentists who are trained to repair jaw abnormalities and the complexities of the lower face are known as oral maxillofacial surgeons.
Oculoplastic surgeons deal with the defects and abnormalities that are specifically related to the eyes and the structures around them.
This includes various eyelid surgeries (blepharoplasty, levator advancement, Mullerectomy, etc.), facelifts, reconstruction of the lower eye and building the lower eyelids from the excess skin of the cheek area. This is just a small sampling, which most people do not realize.
Of course, choosing the right doctor should always be of the utmost importance to you. It’s a hot topic these days, and the specialty of “oculoplastics” has not been properly introduced to the general public. In reality, if you desire to have a perfect evaluation of your eyelids, eyebrows, and the surrounding areas (whether for cosmetic or medical/functional reasons), it would be the wisest choice to select an oculoplastic surgeon who has been trained for that specific purpose.
Here’s an example of a specific scenario. A lady has been thinking about having her eyelids done for many months. Her reasons include (1) suffering from heaviness behind her eyes, (2) trouble with keeping her eyes open (generally or toward the end of each day), and/or (3) her eyes are now narrower and less attractive than they were in previous years.
Because she believes that this is simply a cosmetic problem, she goes to a general plastic surgeon and has a bilateral upper eyelid blepharoplasty (removing the excess skin from the upper eyelids). Weeks or months later, she still believes that she has the same problems that she had prior to the surgery, and in fact, she does. The reason why is because, additionally, she has a condition called mild blepharoptosis (droopy upper eyelids) which would require another surgery to repair this condition. It wasn’t only a problem of having excess skin removed, but also involved functional muscles of the eyelids and eyebrows. She is now faced with a decision to- have a second surgery, with just as much downtime and cost, or to leave the condition as-is without repair and suffer with the same problems as before.
When considering major surgery near or around the eyes, consulting an oculoplastic surgeon who is specifically trained for these eye conditions can help identify such problems and really make a difference.