“Oculoplastic.” Now that’s a word you don’t hear everyday—unless you work at Oregon Trail Eye Center, because we have a trained, experienced surgeon, Dr. Thomas Roussel, who performs both functional and cosmetic oculoplastic surgery at our surgery center in Scottsbluff.What does an “oculoplastic” surgeon do?
An oculoplastic surgeon is specially trained to perform procedures that involve the eyelid (including drooping eyelids and eyelids that are not in a normal position), the eye socket, and tear ducts. They may also remove tumors that affect the eye.
Yes. Drooping of the upper eyelids is often caused by problems with the muscles that lift the eyelid. This condition called “ptosis,” can make a person look older, but can also cause vision problems. Surgery to correct drooping of upper eyelids is called a “blepharoplasty.”
A blepharoplasty may be indicated when eyelids droop to the extent that a person must tip the head back to see better and/or raise the eyebrows to lift the eyelids.
Insurance plans often cover blepharoplasty of the upper eyelids when it is performed to improve function. As blepharoplasties performed only for the purpose of restoring more youthful appearance are considered “cosmetic,” they are generally not covered by insurance.
Using a laser or a scalpel, the surgeon makes an incision along the natural fold lines of the upper eyelids to remove excess fat and skin. Similarly, fat can be removed from the inside of the lower eyelids. Sutures close and retighten the lids to provide unobstructed vision and a more youthful, pleasant expression.
An oculoplastic surgeon can often bring lower eyelids that turn outward (“ectropion”) or inward (“entropion”) back to a normal position.
When a skin cancer develops on the eyelid, it must be removed, and this often entails the removal of some portion of the delicate eyelid structure. An oculoplastic surgeon can often reconstruct the eyelid.
Excessive thyroid hormones associated with thyroid disease can damage the muscle and tissue around the eyelids and eye socket and cause the eyes to bulge. When the eyeball and the nerves that transmit images to the brain are affected, permanent vision damage can result.
An oculoplastic surgeon can make it possible for a bulging eye to move back into its proper place in the eye socket and relieving the blinding pressure on nerves.
This is NOT cosmetic surgery. Most insurance plans, including Medicare, cover reconstructive surgery of this type.
When the bottom (“floor”) of the eye socket is accidentally broken, this “blow out” fracture can result in permanent double vision and cause the affected eye to sink back into the socket, making it look smaller than the opposite eye.
The repair requires delicate surgery by a trained oculoplastic surgeon.
Tears keep the surface of the eye moist. Excess moisture flows away through pores in the inner corner of the eyelid and make their way into drains that empty into the nose. When these drains are blocked, tears run down the cheeks, sometimes all day long. An oculoplastic surgeon reduces or eliminates this nuisance tearing by finding the blockage and opening the drain. A procedure called “dacryocystorhinostomy” accesses the blockage through the nostril only and involves fiberoptic lights that can open the blocked drains.
Yes. Dr. Thomas Roussel, an experienced oculoplastic surgeon, performs these procedures at Oregon Trail Eye Center’s outpatient surgery center in Scottsbluff.