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What is oculofacial surgery?

Woman's face pondering what oculofacial surgery is

Some of the most common questions prospective patients ask include: “What is an oculofacial surgeon?” and, “What qualifications do oculofacial surgeons have?”

Before we dive into the details of oculofacial surgeons and their qualifications, it’s worth noting that the specialty of oculofacial surgery often goes by a several different names that all mean the same thing, including: oculofacial plastic surgery and ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery. So please don’t be worry if your oculofacial surgeon uses one of these alternate terms – they all refer to the same specialty.

Dr. Repp and his colleagues in oculofacial surgery are surgical specialists that care for the tear-drainage system (lacrimal system), eye socket (orbit), eyelids, eyebrows and the surrounding areas of the face. Oculofacial surgeons perform both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, in addition to numerous minimally-invasive procedures such as Botox® injections and injections of dermal/facial fillers.

On a typical day, an oculofacial surgeon might care for patients requesting office-based rejuvenation with Botox® or facial fillers such as Voluma ® and Belotero®. This might be followed by outpatient surgical procedures, such as removing cancers from the eyelids or eye socket. A typical surgical day usually involves both reconstructive and cosmetic eyelid and eyebrow surgeries, such as eyelid lift surgery (blepharoplasty). Many oculofacial surgeons also perform facelifts and liposuction.

Training to become an oculofacial surgeon is an intensive process, requiring four years of medical school, followed by a one-year internship and a three-year eye surgery residency (ophthalmology). This is followed by a two-year oculofacial surgery fellowship dedicated exclusively to surgery of the tear-drainage system, eye socket, eyelids, eyebrows and the surrounding areas of the face. Fellowship training is governed by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, in order to ensure fellows-in-training receive the highest-quality training possible.

Another question we’ve been asked is what sets oculofacial surgeons apart from other surgeons performing facial surgery?

Perhaps the biggest differences between surgeons is in their background and perspective, although all of these surgeons have numerous and valuable skills to offer. Oculofacial surgeons are unique because they train as eye surgeons first (ophthalmologists) before pursing advanced training in oculofacial surgery. During their eye surgery training, oculofacial surgeons learn microsurgical techniques while also developing expertise in the eye, visual system and surrounding tissues. This initial phase of their training exposes oculofacial surgeons to diseases of the eyelids, eye socket and tear-drainage system. Oculofacial surgeons build on this foundation as they pursue advanced surgical training after completing their residency. When you choose an oculofacial surgeon to perform your eyelid or eyebrow surgery, you are choosing a surgeon that has years of experience working with the eye and visual system, followed by further training dedicated exclusively to the tear-drainage system, eye socket, eyelids, eyebrows and surrounding areas of the face. But please know, surgeons with different backgrounds and training also bring a tremendous amount of talent and experience to the table. They too have a unique perspective that may be a good fit for your particular situation. We hope this information lets you know about the unique perspective and background of oculofacial surgeons.

Now that you know a bit more about oculofacial surgery, call Dr. Repp to schedule a consultation to discuss anything from eyelid lift surgery to minimally-invasive rejuvenation with Kybella ™, Botox®, or facial fillers such as Belotero® or Voluma®.

Dr. Repp is conveniently located right here in Davenport, so you won’t need to leave the Quad Cities to get specialized care. Call us today at 563.213.5080.

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