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Oculoplastic surgery describes to any surgery around the eyes but doesn’t involve the eyes themselves. Operations on the eyelids, the eye socket, the forehead and the cheeks all come into this category of surgery, which is sometimes also called oculo-facial surgery or ophthalmic facial surgery.

Medically necessary oculoplastic surgery

Oculoplastic surgery may be performed through necessity, to correct a malformation that is interfering with vision or the normal function of the eyes and eyelids. This type of surgery often involves delicate procedures, working very close to the eye while avoiding damage to the eye itself, the surrounding muscles or the vital optic nerves.

The most common medical oculoplastic surgery procedures include:

  • Blepharoplasty to reshape the eyelids to stop a drooping eyelid interfering with vision. This procedure can be done in the traditional way or using a laser method.
  • Lacrimal surgery to unblock the tear ducts and drainage channels.
  • Orbital surgery to correct eye socket abnormalities.
  • Removal of skin cancers around the eye.
  • Removal of eyelid cysts.

Oculoplastic surgeons also implant highly realistic artificial or prosthetic eyes in patients who have lost an eye because of accident or disease.

Cosmetic oculoplastic surgery

Oculoplastic surgery is also frequently done for purely cosmetic or aesthetic purposes to reduce the signs of aging around the eyes. Ageing causes the muscles and supporting tissues of the skin becoming slack, leading to eye bags, drooping eyelids, wrinkles and crow’s feet.

Your oculoplastic surgeon will be able to suggest a wide range of solutions to give you a fresher, more youthful look. The most common cosmetic procedures include:

  • Blepharoplasty to lift and tighten the upper or lower eyelids (traditional or laser).
  • Botox to paralyse the muscles that cause frown lines and brow lines.
  • Face lifts to reduce wrinkles and crows feet.
  • Dermal fillers to create a fuller, healthier look and reduce wrinkles.

Oculoplastic surgeons often collaborate with consultant plastic surgeons to provide a wider range of treatment for their patients, while retaining their specialist expertise.

Why choose an oculoplastic surgeon?

Whether you are considering facial cosmetic surgery for medical or aesthetic reasons, it makes sense to choose an oculoplastic surgeon rather than a general plastic surgeon.

Oculoplastic surgeons are fully trained ophthalmologists who have specialised in facial surgery. This means that they are fully qualified medical doctors, registered with the General Medical Council, who have also undergone at least seven years of Ophthalmic Specialist Training (OST) under the guidance of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, before branching off into specialist facial surgery training.

As a result of all this experience and expertise, they have a unique and in depth understanding of the anatomy and functions of the eye structures and are therefore more aware of the potential problems when operating in this area.

British Oculoplastic Surgery Society (BOPSS)

As well as undergoing specialist training with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, oculoplastic surgeons are also members of the British Oculoplastic Surgery Society. BOPSS membership provides a wide range of support, including extensive continued professional development and training in the latest techniques and technology.

Moorfields Private

Interested in getting private eye surgery?

Download our free 48 page PDF guide

Sponsored by Moorfields Private Eye Hospital


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Moorfields Private is the London-based private division of the world-renowned Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, with a reputation as a centre of excellence for providing ophthalmic care to private patients from the UK and across the world.

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