Oculoplastics

Oculoplastics refers to surgical procedures relating to the eye socket, eyelid and tear ducts, which treat conditions such as droopy eyelids, tumours and blocked tear ducts. A number of treatments are available depending on the condition.

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Oculoplastics

Oculoplastics refers to surgical procedures relating to the eye socket, eyelid and tear ducts. It includes conditions such as droopy eyelids, tumours and blocked tear ducts. A number of treatments are available depending on the condition.

Watery eyes and blocked tear ducts

Tears are produced by the lacrimal glad above the eyes. When blinking the tears are spread over the surface of the eye, creating lubrication. Once they have passed over the surface of the eye, the tears drain into small holes in the inner corner of the eye, called punctum. The tears are carried through small tubes which lead to the lacrimal sac. They then pass from the lacrimal sac to the nasolacrimal duct and to the nose.

The cause of lacrimal obstruction may sometimes be unknown. It may however be caused by the following:

  • Congenital malformation of the drainage system – babies can be born with blocked tear ducts
  • Severe conjunctivitis
  • Trauma or previous surgery to eyelids or sinus
  • Strong medications including chemotherapy and some eye drops

Symptoms

  • Watery/ sticky eyes
  • Swelling around the lacrimal sac
  • Painful lump and redness – if infected

Diagnosis

A few different tests may be required in order to diagnose the cause of symptoms. This may include passing a saline solution through tear duct in order to detect a blockage. More detailed scans of the drainage pathway may be required, including: dacryoscintillogram, dacryocystogram or MRI scans.

Treatments

If a blockage is found, an operation to remove the blockage or to create a bypass may be required in order to relieve symptoms. Some blockages may be treated by placing silicon tubing into the drainage pathway.


About Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery is often performed by local anaesthetic.

Surgery is performed to:

  • Correct the position of the eyelid – i.e. entropion (eyelid turning inwards), ectropion (eyelid turning outwards),
  • Correct eyelid structure following trauma or tissue removal.
  • Reduce baggy/ droopy eyelids i.e. dermatochalasis or ptosis
  • To remove tumours, cysts or other lesions i.e. BCC, SCC, chalazion or styes,
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