What is Oculoplastic and What is Oculoplastic surgery?

In recent times with the advances of science and medicine, different specialties and subspecialties have emerged to meet the specific needs of our population. Medicine is becoming increasingly specialized. Therefore, it is likely that you must have recently heard people speak of “oculoplastic” or “oculoplastic surgery.” You are most likely wondering, “What is a oculoplastic or what is oculoplastic surgery?”

Well, today in our blog we will dedicate some time to elucidate what each thing is. To begin with, the correct term would be an oculoplastic surgeon, and this term describes the eye doctor who specializes in diseases and surgeries of eyelid, lacrimal system (tear duct) and orbit (eye socket). In other words, to become an oculoplastic surgeon, the person must graduate first from medical school. Once licensed to practice medicine and surgery, the doctor receives specialized training in medical and surgical treatment of diseases of the eye (ophthalmology). In general, the specialization in ophthalmology lasts 3-4 years depending on the training program of each country. Upon completion of microsurgery and treatment of eye diseases, the new ophthalmologist will undergo additional training for 1-2 years in the treatment and surgeries of the eyelid, tear duct and orbit.

Now that we understand what an oculoplastic surgeon is, it is easier to try to understand what is oculoplastic surgery. Basically, oculoplastic surgery is a specialty within ophthalmology that focuses on the treatment of diseases and both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the eyelids, the lacrimal duct and orbit. Examples of the ailments in oculoplastic, lacrimal and orbital surgery are: palpebral ptosis (droopy eyelid), malposition of the eyelids (ectropion / entropion), obstruction of the tear duct system, basal cell carcinoma of the eyelid, facial paralysis, blepharospasm, benign and malignant tumors of the orbit (eye socket), trauma to the eyelid, tear duct and orbit, fracture of the orbit, thyroid eye disease, among others. Oculoplastic surgery also encompasses medical and surgical treatments with a cosmetic / aesthetic approach such as upper eyelid blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) and lower eyelid bag removal, eyebrow lift, mid-face lift. , application of Botox and fillers in areas around the eyes among many other therapeutic options.

In summary, an oculoplastic surgeon is a super specialist who could be considered as the plastic surgeon of the eyes and the surrounding tissues. Now that we explained what an oculoplastic surgeon and what oculoplastic surgery is, Dr. Chun Cheng Lin Yang is an experienced eyelid, lacrimal and orbit specialist (oculoplastic surgeon) in Costa Rica at your service. Dr. Lin Yang has been serving his patients for more than 14 years in private practice of oculoplastic surgery. He made possible the accreditation of oculoplastic, lacrimal and orbital surgery by the Costa Rican college of physicians and surgeons. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Lin Yang you can contact us via WhatsApp or by calling +506 6084-3238 / +506 2289-8137 / +506 2208-8322, or write to us at info@doctorparpados.com

What is Ectropion?

Ectropion is the out-turning of the eyelid.  This causes constant foreign body sensation, tearing and redness of the eye.  Untreated ectropion can cause severe visual consequences.
Patient with a severe ectropion of lower eyelid.

The eyelids are essential structures for the protection of our eye. That is why the quality of our vision is directly related to the health of our eyelids. The position of the eyelids is critical in protecting the eye. The eyelids may suffer from position problems or malposition. The two groups of eyelid malposition are entropion and ectropion.

Ectropion is a very common condition in which the margin of the eyelid is turned away from the eye (the lid is not in contact with the eye), leaving the surface of the eyeball exposed and vulnerable to irritation. Most ectropion patients experience redness of the eyes and the margin of the eyelids, foreign body sensation, tearing, and irritation. In severe cases, the symptoms can be disabling and affect the patient’s quality of life. Ectropion is a frequent cause of tearing confused witht tear duct obstruction. The common causes of ectropion can be divided into three groups: involutional, cicatricial, and neurological.
* Involutional (aging): As we progress in age, all the tissues of our body, including our face, tend to become lax and the eyelids are no exception. Basically, the lower eyelid becomes lax and ectropion may occur. Therefore, it should not surprise us that this group is the most frequent cause.
* Cicatricial (scaring): The healing of the skin of the eyelids can cause retraction of the eyelids away from the eyeball. This scarring may be due to trauma, resection of a lesion or tumor in the eyelid, sun damage and post aesthetic or cosmetic eyelid surgery.
* Neurological: Although to a lesser extent, conditions such a stroke or a tumor can cause facial nerve palsy. Since the facial nerve is responsible for the innervation of the orbicularis muscle, which makes blinking and maintaining the position of the eyelid possible, ectropion can be a result of this cause.

Regardless of the cause, surgery is the definitive treatment to cure ectropion. There may be circumstances in which a patient cannot undergo surgery or simply does not want surgery as a treatment. For this group of patients, there are temporary measures such as use of artificial tears in the presentation of drops frequently during the day and in the form of gel before bedtime. Intradermal fillers can be used transiently to raise the eyelids to its anatomical position while waiting for surgery. Remember that depending on the type of fillers, the effect can be from 6 to 12 months. In summary, the important thing with ectropion is an accurate and timely diagnosis for the right treatment.

Corrective ectropion surgery in Costa Rica
In order to eliminate the annoying symptoms of ectropion such as tearing, redness of the eyes, foreign body sensation, surgery is the solution. An operation that oculoplastic surgeons perform is called canthopexy or canthoplasty. Canthopexy alone or associated with other techniques can solve most of the causes of ectropion. There are different surgical approaches in resolving ectropion. Probably, the best known operation is the tarsal-strip procedure. This is a simple and painless technique that returns the eyelid to its normal anatomical position without affecting its contour.

Surgical treatment for ectropion caused by scarring is of greater complexity and difficulty. The oculoplastic surgeon recurs to the use of skin graft plus canthoplasty. For this group of patients, more than one surgery is necessary to achieve the adequate eyelid position.

Corrective ectropion surgery is an outpatient procedure, without the need for hospitalization, and this can be performed under local or local anesthesia plus sedation. In general, the patient can expect mild inflammation and bruising around the eyelids that resolves in a week or 10 days. Usually, corrective surgery that does not require skin grafting takes about 30 to 45 minutes. The procedure that requires skin grafting probably requires more time and the recovery takes a little longer.

In Costa Rica, Dr. Lin Yang is an oculoplastic surgeon with extensive experience who can offer you the definitive treatment to correct ectropion, giving back the functionality to your eyelid with the best cosmetic result. He approaches this condition with innovative and minimally invasive techniques, with rapid recovery. And most importantly, corrective ectropion surgery is NOT painful. Eliminate ectropion once and for all. You can call us at 2208-8322 / 2289-8137 or write us through info@doctorparpados.com to schedule your appointment.

Is ophthalmic plastic surgery, oculoplastic surgery or oculofacial surgery the same?

Yes, is the answer to this question. You may wonder what is oculoplastic surgery or oculofacial surgery or ophthalmic plastic surgery? Basically, oculofacial surgery, ophthalmic plastic surgery and oculoplastic surgery are synonyms. Oculoplastic surgery is a sub-specialty of ophthalmology that includes surgeries or treatments for diseases of the eyelids, eyebrows, cheeks and tissues around the eyes. In addition, oculoplastic surgery encompasses the conditions and treatments of the tear duct (the tear drainage system) and the orbit (the space that protects the eye, what commonly is known as the eye socket). Oculoplastic surgeons are ophthalmologists (eye surgeons/ specialist) with additional training to perform surgeries and treat eyelid conditions. It is practically a plastic eye surgeon, and there the term ophthalmic plastic surgery. Having the knowledge and training so specialized in the management of tissue problems around the eyes and face, they are also known as an oculofacial surgeon. It is important to remember that the oculoplastic surgeon performs cosmetic and aesthetic and reconstructive treatments and surgeries of the eyelids. From the wide range of surgeries performed by the oculoplastic surgeon, we can highlight:

• Blepharoplasty: Frequently known as eyelid lift. With the passage of time or hereditary reasons, the eyelids descend and give the person a tired and older appearance. More importantly, the vision can be compromised due to obstruction of the superior and central visual field. Blepharoplasty can be performed for cosmetic / aesthetic or functional reasons. This surgery involves removing excess skin (and fat when necessary) and contouring the shape of the eyelids. Blepharoplasty is applicable to both the upper and lower eyelids.

• Ptosis (blepharoptosis) repair surgery: The levator muscle is responsible for the opening of the upper eyelids. This muscle’s function may be decreased and the eyelids droop, blocking the central and superior field of vision. Among the causes of eyelid ptosis are trauma, tumors, neuromuscular disease or aging. Corrective surgery can be performed to restore the functionality of the eyelid.

• Ectropion or entropion repair surgery: The eyelids may suffer from malposition (entropion or ectropion). Basically, the eyelids can turn towards/invert (entropion) or away/everted (ectropion) from the eyeball, causing symptoms of eye irritation, tearing and even corneal ulcer formation. Surgery involves repositioning the affected eyelid to its usual position to eliminate the bothersome eye symptoms.

• Eyelid reconstructive surgery: Whether due to trauma, previous plastic surgery, tumor or neuro-vascular disease, the eyelids may be affected and lose their functionality. Eyelid reconstructive surgery is to restore the functionality of the eyelids with the appropriate cosmetic appearance.

Remember that an oculoplastic surgeon is the plastic surgeon of the eye, a super specialized specialist in microsurgery or surgery of precision in critical areas of the face and eyelids. Consider consulting with one when thinking about a cosmetic or reconstructive procedure in your face or eyelids.

You can contact us at +506 2208-8322 and +506 22898137, or emailing us at info@doctorparpados.com , or through our social medias. It will be a pleasure to assist you.