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Jan 19

2015

Oculoplasty, The Cosmetic Surgical Procedure For Correcting Deformities

Oculoplasty becomes one of the emerging super-specialties across the globe. There is a great demand for expert surgeons who can perform various types of Orbital, eyelid, facial or lacrimal surgeries with high perfection.

The word “plastic surgery” has been derived from the Greek word Plasto. It means to give shape to something. Since the surgery reshapes the damaged parts or recreates the missing ones; it is called plastic surgery. It has nothing to with the synthetic material known as plastic.

Nowadays, various institutes offer specialization courses, fellowship training programs and awareness courses for this emerging stream. Ophthalmologists and budding oculoplastic surgeons get benefited from the workshops and seminars that bring the latest developments and new techniques. Big hospitals provide advanced facilities of plastic surgeries of eyebrows, eyelids, mid-face, and orbital surgeries that come under this new branch.

It is a buzzword today

Today, cosmetic surgery for reconstruction of facial structure is very popular. Due to the advancement in the medical science and increased affordability of people, it is in a great demand. Celebrities, leaders, and other public figures don’t mind paying huge amounts for achieving cosmetic benefits. Experts say that facelifts and eyelid procedures achieve the top position in the list. No wonder oculoplasty becomes one of the popular streams. A large number of students are interested in making career in it. Since it is a specialization where students acquire specialization in Ophthalmology and plastic surgery, they can work as an eye specialist and a plastic surgeon. It is a dual benefit for patients because they needn’t go to different specialists for cosmetic and vision-related problems. There are a number of non-surgical procedures also performed by Oculoplastic surgeons. A few examples are skin rejuvenation, facial fillers, removal of wrinkles around the eyes, and facelift, etc.

The critical aspect of Oculoplasty

An Oculiplastic surgeon is an ophthalmologist who knows the structure and working of the eye very well.  It is not possible to perform plastic surgery without understanding it completely.  He works on the most complex part of the face, the area around eyes. It is not only important for facial appearance, but critically important for vision.

To get specialization in this particular branch, doctors need to complete one-year internship program and a three-year resident training in Ophthalmology. There is an additional training required for advanced fellowship in plastic, reconstructive, and orbit surgery.  Since they spend a long time in understanding the intricacies of a relatively small area of the face, they achieve great expertise on the subject. They can perform surgeries with a great accuracy and perfection.

Since the surgical procedures deal with the reconstruction or cosmetic enhancements of deformities and abnormalities of the lacrimal system and external parts of the eye, surgeons take care while performing operation. Even a minor error can badly affect the facial structure.  Since the surgeon is also an ophthalmologist, he takes care of the vision related aspects well.

A few Oculoplastic procedures

Correction of droopy eyelids, removal of obstructions in the tear ducts, repair of watering eyes or facial repair are a few examples of Oculoplastic surgery.

  • Eyelid Surgery: It can correct various problems like entropion, ptosis, eyelid tumors, and ectropion, etc. It is also useful in removing excessive fat or skin on the eyelids, commonly known as Eyelift surgery.

  • Installing grafts or flaps for eyelids: Various types of skin cancers and malignant melanomas are treated using flaps, grafts or other reconstructive surgeries. These procedures are performed by Oculoplastic surgeons. They also perform canthectomy where tissues from the joint of lower and upper eyelids are removed. They remove eyelid tumors also.

  • Lacrimal procedures: Issues related to the tear gland and tear duct are removed by surgeries. Opening blocked tear ducts, removal of lacrimal gland, restoring the function of tear duct, and clearing the drainage of tears are a few examples.

  • Eye removal: When there is a need of removing the eye and keeping the eye muscles and orbital contents intact, then also Oculoplastic surgeons use their skill. It is usually performed when there is an unbearable pain in a blind eye.

  • Exenteration: It means removal of entire orbital part and the eye along with extra ocular muscles, connecting tissues, and fat. It is performed in the case of malignant tumors.

Who can undergo the surgery?

Since it is aimed towards enhancing appearance and comfort, anybody who is physically fit can undergo the surgery. The defects may be there since birth, or they may appear at the later age. Accidents, diseases, and other factors cause problems that not only hamper the vision, but affect the appearance also. Problems like droopy eyelids may cause practical difficulties, and people can’t perform daily activities. Similarly, there is a need for removing a damaged eye because of aesthetic purpose.

Doctors check the physical history and decide whether the patient is fit for the surgery or not? If there are critical health issues like heart problem or diabetes, then a detailed investigation is carried out to minimize the risk. A team of specialists evaluates the risk associated.

Risks

There can be various complications in Oculoplasty surgery, just like any other procedure. Sometimes, the wounds get burst, blemishing occurs, or lopsidedness can also occur. In very rare cases, there is an allergic reaction to anesthesia. Similarly, loss of vision or visual injury can also result from the surgery. Some people face the problem of overcorrection. However, all these complications are very rare. The possibility of such issues happening can be further minimized by doing detailed investigation prior to surgery.

Post-operative care

b Patients shouldn’t indulge in heavy exercise, sports, aerobics, weightlifting, and other strenuous work for eight to ten weeks. Eye makeup should be avoided for at least two months. There are no restrictions on diet, but the patients should eat high fiber diet to avoid constipation.  They are allowed to resume duties after two to four weeks depending on the speed of recovery and the nature of the profession. Regular checkup and follow-up meetings are scheduled as per condition of the patient.