Oculoplastic surgery, which is also called ophthalmic plastic surgery, is a medical subspecialty of ophthalmology. An oculoplastic surgeon is a doctor who performs reconstructive or cosmetic surgery on structures around the eyes like the eyelids, orbit, and tear ducts.
What Is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is an outpatient surgical procedure done on the eyelids. Sometimes called an eyelid lift, it is one of the more common procedures performed by an oculoplastic surgeon. While it is usually a cosmetic procedure, it can be a functional procedure in those cases in which the excess skin on the upper eyelids is obscuring the patient’s vision.
Blepharoplasty can be done on the upper eyelids, the lower eyelids, or both. The oculoplastic surgeon will administer either a local anesthetic or IV sedation. If the surgeon is working on both sets of eyelids, they will generally do the upper eyelids first. After the procedure the patient will have a fresher and more youthful appearance. Upper eyelid blepharoplasty may take half an hour or more.
Blepharoplasty of the lower eyelids is done to reduce bags under the patient’s eyes. The oculoplastic surgeon may remove excess fat. Lower eyelid blepharoplasty can take up to 45 minutes.
What Is Lid Laceration?
Lid laceration is a tear in the eyelid caused by an injury. Injuries to the eyelids are often caused by vehicle accidents, dog bites, or athletic competitions.
The surgeon’s first step in treating a lacerated eyelid is assessing the damage. Specifically, they need to check if the patient has also sustained damage to the eye and/or the tear ducts. Most patients, especially children, will need to be given IV sedation during both the examination and the surgery to keep them comfortable and calm.
If the oculoplastic surgeon finds that the tear ducts have been damaged, they will repair them at the same time that they repair the eyelid. In many cases, they will install a silicone tube to allow the tears to drain normally while the tear duct heals. After the procedure, the patient will have to apply topical antibiotics to the injured eyelid for about a week. They may also have to take oral antibiotics.
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