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.

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