Thursday, 2 March 2017
Both oculoplastic and ophthalmic surgeons specialize in carrying out different surgical treatments pertaining to the eye and surrounding structures. Many people often confuse between the two, however, both of these are different based on the kind of eye surgeries they specialize in.
In fact, the basic medical degrees of both oculoplastic surgeons and ophthalmic surgeons are the same at the post-graduate level. After completing a two-year residency in Ophthalmology after the course, an ophthalmic surgeon can undergo a special two-year program training and appear for oral and written examination to be certified as an oculoplastic surgeon.
An ophthalmic plastic surgeon, also known as an ophthalmologist, mainly deals with the corrective eye surgeries. They are experts at treating eye disorders of retina, cataract, eyeball, glaucoma, partial blindness etc. An oculoplastic surgeon specializes in both cosmetic and corrective eye surgery procedures. Though the primary concern for an oculoplastic surgeon is the health and safety of your eyes but they can also carry out cosmetic procedures such as correction of droopy eyelids, lazy eye, dark under eye circles, etc.
Top Oculoplastic surgeons diagnose, evaluate and treat diseases and conditions that affect the eyelids, tear system, orbit and face such as eyelid ptosis, eyelid trauma or lacerations, entropion and ectropion, eyelid spasms, thyroid eye disease, orbital tumors or fractures, problems involving the tear duct or tear drain.
In addition to the above procedures, oculoplastic surgeons are also trained in the treatment of cosmetic problems like ageing e.g., loose skin, wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, etc. They offer a range of cosmetic treatments, as other plastic surgeons do, treating with eye area depending on the condition with injectable, resurfacing procedures, chemical peels and eyelash enhancement.
It is important to know the difference between oculoplastic and ophthalmic surgeons since both of them hold expertise in different fields despite holding the same initial medical education. Most oculoplastic surgeons can do an ophthalmic procedure, however, the opposite does not hold true.
Tears drain through small openings in the corners of the lower and upper eyelids called puncta and enter the nose through the nasolacrimal duct. An obstruction in the duct blocks the normal flow of tears and causes a backflow in the eye. Blockage of the drainage system causes tears to well up on the surface of the eyes and overflow on the eyelashes, eyelids, and down the cheek.
In such a situation, the eyelids can become red and swollen, and sometimes may even stick together. The severity of such signs may vary under different conditions such as respiratory illness or outdoor exposure to wind and dust. The treatment procedure depends on the reasons for blockage of tear ducts. The reasons may be a tumor or infection and the treatment differs accordingly. It requires more than one approach to receive proper treatment.
In order to receive the best treatment for nasolacrimal duct obstruction, one should be well-informed about the surgical procedure, expected results and complications. DCR (Dacryocystorhinostomy) is the surgical procedure used to treat the duct obstruction. This surgical procedure eliminates the fluid and mucus retention in the lacrimal sac. It releases the tear drainage and relieves the epiphora. The DCR procedure involves the removal of the bone adjacent to the lacrimal sac and incorporating the lacrimal sac with the lateral nasal mucosa to bypass the nasolacrimal duct obstruction. It allows tears to directly drain into the nasal cavity from the canaliculi through a low-resistance pathway.
If stable, the patient is discharged post-surgery and advised rest for a week. The patient is instructed not to do any heavy lifting, exercise or undertake any strenuous activity that can induce bleeding. Hot drinks and food are also prohibited for the first 24 hours to reduce the risk of epistaxis caused by the heat induced nasal vasodilation. Ice should be placed on the site of incision for at least 48 hours while awake to minimize swelling and bruising. The patient is told to elevate the head always at a 45-degree angle and not blow air from the nose to reduce the risk of hemorrhage. The silicone tube is removed 4 to 8 weeks after the surgery.