A specialty of ophthalmology, oculoplastics refers to plastic surgery of the eyelids. It focuses on and treats the orbit, the eyelids, and the lacrimal (tear) system across many conditions.
What is it?
Oculoplastic surgery refers to procedures of the orbit, eyelids, tear ducts, and the face. These may consist of both medically necessary and cosmetic procedures. Oculoplastic surgeons are trained in a diverse range of subspecialties to perform many procedures. Insurance plans will have varying degrees of coverage depending on which procedures and specialties are accessed. Most oculoplastic surgeries are quick outpatient procedures. Common procedures consist of blepharoplasty, forehead lift, tear duct surgery, orbital surgery, and facial rejuvenation.
What should I do to prepare?
The doctor will ask the patient to refrain from smoking and may adjust patient medication plans before receiving the procedure. A pre-operative meeting is recommended to discuss these conditions with the doctor in addition to the preliminary consultation. Arrangements should be taken to be driven to and from the procedure. Additionally, it is helpful to have a companion to stand by during the first eight hours of the recovery process.
What happens during the process?
The procedure for each type of oculoplastic surgery is different, however, most take only a few hours as an outpatient and can be performed under local anesthesia, although hospitals or surgical centers may use IV sedation. Typically, small incisions around the eyes are made to target the treatment/aesthetic of that area, and correctional procedures follow.
What are the risks and potential complications?
Like all surgical procedures, oculoplastic surgeries carry risks and side effects. Risks and complications vary in severity, but include:
- Visual Impairment
- Unsatisfied results
- Wound dehiscence (a wound bursting open)
- Drooping eyelids
- Globe perforation during local anesthetic injection
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