What is Oculoplastic surgery?
Oculoplastic surgery, also known as oculofacial plastic surgery, eye plastic surgery, and orbitofacial surgery is a subspecialty field of medicine that is the intersection between eye surgery and plastic surgery.
In order to become an oculoplastic surgeon, one must first train in ophthalmic surgery (ophthalmology) for at least 3 years plus an additional year of internship. Then, an oculoplastic fellowship is required and this usually requires 2 additional years of training.
What oculoplastic surgeons do
The specialty of oculoplastic surgery can be subdivided into 4 main areas. Some surgeons are known for one of these areas more than others (in my New York practice I perform more cosmetic procedures than anything else) while other surgeons cover all 4 bases equally:
Eyelid reconstructive surgery- Including repair of drooping eyelids (eyelid ptosis), sagging eyelid correction (blepharoplasty), eyelid injury repair, eyelid malposition (entropion and ectropion), and revision eyelid surgery.
Orbital surgery- Corrective surgery around the eye including repair of trauma to the facial and eye socket bones, removal and biopsy of tumors around the eyes, and inflammatory condition management such as thyroid eye disease.
Cosmetic surgery of the eyes and face- Oculoplastic surgeons are trained in cosmetic eyelid surgery for bags, aged and sagging eyelid skin, brow droop correction, asian double eyelid surgery, and facial volume loss correction with implants, fat injections, and fillers. Accredited oculoplastic surgery fellowships specifically include training in face and necklift surgery and facial wrinkle treatments, Botox, and facial liposuction.
Tear duct (lacrimal) surgery- Oculoplastic surgery includes the diagnosis and repair of tear drainage problems.
Looking for an oculoplastic surgeon
If you are looking for an oculoplastic specialist there are a few ways to begin your search. There are a handful of excellent oculoplastic surgeons in NY where I practice while in less populated parts of the country they can be harder to find. There is a surgeon finder on ASOPRS.org lists oculoplastic surgeons who are members of this respected organization and this is a good starting place. Your primary eye doctor or dermatologist can also provide names for referral.