Choosing your eyelid surgeon

By Joseph Walrath, MD | Nov 29, 2014 | Blepharoplasty, Cosmetic, Eyelid Malposition

It turns out that a lot of surgeons perform eyelid surgery, including: ophthalmologists, dermatologists, otolaryngologists, plastic surgeons, and others.  So why would you choose an oculoplastic surgeon, a surgeon who has trained in ophthalmology first, then in eyelid and eye socket surgery for 1-2 years exclusively afterwards?

Here are the reasons:

1. Oculoplastic surgeons do more eyelid surgery than any other surgical specialists. 

To be clear, many plastic surgeons perform very nice blepharoplasty surgeries most of the time.  And most plastic surgeons with insight do not operate on difficult eyelid cases, referring them to oculoplastic specialists who are ophthalmology-trained.  However, plastic surgeons do not perform nearly the volume of eyelid surgery as oculoplastic surgeons.  Like any other surgical specialty, most of the surgeries go well, but if there is something about your anatomy that is going to increase the difficulty level of your surgery, you will want to have the most experienced surgeons around to perform your surgery.

2. Oculoplastic surgeons have a much deeper understanding of eyelid function and structure than other types of surgeons.

The patients who do the worst after surgery by non-oculoplastic surgeons are those who were not recognized as having a higher risk of complication in the office setting during their initial evaluation.  The simple truth is that no other field recognizes the subtle abnormalities in eyelid tone, position, and function that can lead to surgical challenges better than oculoplastic surgeons.  Even a technically well-executed surgery is a failure if the surgical planning is flawed.

3. Oculoplastic surgeons actually understand how insurance for eyelid surgery works.

Oculoplastic surgeons have the equipment to perform proper evaluations of the eyelids to allow for insurance consideration in the coverage of eyelid surgery.  They can give patients the best sense of whether or not their surgery will be covered, when there is any uncertainty.  And they won’t make you drive all over the place to multiple offices to have someone else do their eyelid evaluations for them.  Rule of thumb:  If your surgeon can’t do the preoperative evaluation by themselves, don’t let them do surgery on you.

4. When other types of surgeons have complications for their eyelid surgery, who do you think they send them to?

Enough said.