Restoring Vision With Oculofacial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
What is “oculoplastic” surgery? Is it plastic surgery? Yes, and it can be either cosmetic or reconstructive. General plastic surgeons are trained to perform a variety of procedures across the body. Oculoplastic surgeons are ophthalmologists first. They specialize in treating everything in and around the eyes.
Is your vision compromised? Explore reconstructive options with a Sabates consultation.
While cosmetic procedures are performed solely to improve appearance, reconstructive surgery is medically necessary to restore impaired visual function and is usually covered by health insurance. At Sabates Eye Centers, patients of all ages undergo oculoplastic surgery to treat abnormalities of the eyelids and face, the lacrimal (tear duct) system and the orbit. Two of the most common conditions requiring surgery are eyelid malposition and thyroid eye disease.
Eyelids are complex structures that can droop, retract from the eye, or turn inward and outward. Eyelid malposition can be caused by aging, injury or disease.
When lids are positioned incorrectly, the eye is not properly protected and lubricated. This can lead to dryness, discomfort, corneal ulcers and infections and also blocked tear ducts. Drooping lids can also compromise vision.
In many cases of eyelid malposition, our surgeons are able to treat the condition by tightening, loosening or repairing the tendons that hold the lid in place. Blepharoplasty on the upper lids can remove the excess skin and fat that leads to blocked peripheral vision in many patients.
Thyroid Eye Disease
Often the cause of bulging of one or both eyes, it is associated with autoimmune thyroid disorders, most commonly Graves’ disease, and may lead to a loss of vision, double vision, orbital pain, ocular redness and irritation, and dry eye symptoms.
Corrective surgery can include orbital decompression to restore normal eye position and relieve pressure, eye muscle surgery for double vision, and eyelid surgery to normalize lid position. Patients may need one, two or all three types of procedures, or none at all, depending upon the severity of the disease.