Dr. Iyengar with UCSD residents and medical school students at the Free Eye Clinic in San Diego

Topic - How do I choose a surgeon for my eyelid surgery?

Oculoplastic Surgery (also known as Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Oculofacial Plastic Surgery) is a subspecialty that focuses on cosmetic and reconstructive aspects of the eyelids, lacrimal (tear) system, the orbit (the bony cavity surrounding the eye), and the adjacent face.

When choosing a surgeon for cosmetic eyelid and facial surgery, it is important to consider the physician’s training. Oculoplastic surgeons spend more time training in the subtleties involving the eyelid and upper face than any other specialty in medicine. These fine details, such as placement of the eyelid crease, the recognition of particular eye conditions, or the subtle identification of eyelid malpositions prior to eyelid surgery make a difference in the final functional and aesthetic outcome.

An oculoplastic surgeon spends the first 4 years after medical school mastering care of the delicate eye and surrounding tissues, gaining board certification as an ophthalmologist. After this already specialized training, an oculoplastic surgeon with membership in the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) completes an additional 2 years of specialized plastic surgery training in eyelid surgery, orbital surgery, and lacrimal surgery. Membership in ASOPRS indicates the surgeon has fellowship-training in this subspecialty, and that he or she is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.

Oculoplastic surgeons are also often asked to address complications that may arise from eyelid surgery and are cognizant of minimizing the risks around the eye. It is for this reason many physicians and surgeons choose San Diego Eyelid Specialists for their own eyelid surgery.