Undoubtedly, the ophthalmologists who do eye plastic surgery are the best kept secret in cosmetic and facial reconstructive surgery. Generally, physicians are board-certified in ophthalmology, with special training in the management of deformities and abnormalities of the eyelids, lacrimal system, the orbit and the adjacent face. Yet, unless a patient has some knowledge of these surgeons’ unique skills, chances are likely that they’ll approach a plastic surgeon, otolaryngologist or dermatologist — perhaps even their family physician — for cosmetic or reconstructive surgery before considering their eye physician. (Source)
At SCALE 2019 Music City we will have a significant amount of resources for specialists in this field, as well as for those who just want to learn more about oculoplastic surgery.
How Oculoplastics Differ From Other Cosmetic Surgeries
Most plastic surgeons are generalists. Oculoplastic surgeons are specialized. The field of oculoplastic surgery takes much of the principle of plastic surgery and applies it, on a micro-scale (microsurgery) to ophthalmology. Generally, the entire focus is on reconstructive or cosmetic enhancement of the eyelids, orbit, tear ducts, as well as the lids and brows. Most oculoplastic surgeons will also do facial rejuvenation, using injectables such as botulism toxin and/or facial fillers. (Source).
The difference between plastic surgeons and oculoplastic surgeons can be described as follows:
Plastic Surgeons are like big sculptors carving stone and chipping away to obtain a beautiful result. Oculoplastic surgeons are like diamond cutters, using fine, small, precise movements to get a beautiful result.(Source).
With the wealth of information available on the internet, clients have become much more savvy, seeking out specialists to perform the desired work on their eye area.
Lasers and Other Precision Tools
In the field of oculoplastics, everything is done on a micro-scale, requiring even more precision than in most other cosmetic and aesthetic practices.
The range of work that these surgeons may be called on to perform include “surgeries to improve the appearance and function of the eyelids and face, allowing patients to look and feel natural again. The eyelids and structures around the eyes are critical for vision. Injuries, congenital defects, aging changes and tumors can cause pain, eye damage, vision loss and disfigurement. Changes in the eye’s appearance can decrease one’s ability to interact in social settings and in the workplace. The tragic loss of an eye from injury or disease can decrease one’s confidence and impair self-image.”(Source). These are procedures such as:
- Variety Can insert implants
- Reconstruction of eyelids (blepharoplasty, ptosis, entropion, and extropian repair)
- Rebuilding the eye sockets
- Correcting eyelid position abnormalities
- Removing growths and skin cancers
- Treating eating disorders
- Rebuilding ocular structures
Beyond the entire range of forceps, hooks, retractors and scissors that these surgeons have, specialized specula, and other tools make up the basic tool kit found in any office. (Source). Many of these are much more advanced than they look to the untrained eye. However, lasers, prosthetics and computers (alongside biomedical advances that allow for regrowth of tissues and transplants), are the real future of the field. In particular, there are significant research and development resources going towards the perfection of bionic eyes and better surgical methods for eyelash hair transplants and eyebrow skin grafting. These vary between advances in aesthetic medicine and advances in the functional medicine that help people see and keep their eyes work the way they should.
Technologies, such as SMILE, promise to overtake LASIK as more precise, less intrusive, and with less recovery time required. (Source). This is not the only emerging technology making its way onto the scene. Companies that are involved with the latest will be exhibiting at SCALE 2019 Music City, with representatives available for you to talk to about what is coming down the pipeline.
Injectables That Are Making A Difference
Any injectable that is impacting the world of cosmetic surgery is also impacting oculoplastic surgeons’ practices. As noted in <LINK TO BLOG> Emerging Trends in Cosmetic Surgery, injectables are big business.
The biggest transition from the 2018 focus on injectables lasting longer, as reported in February, 2018 by Dermatology Times, to a larger group of clientele and potential clients seeking out preventative care. This is exceptionally true of the market for botulism toxin. There are now more people in their 20s and 30s getting the treatment to prevent any signs of wrinkles from appearing than almost any other treatment tracked in the United States. (Source). Small doses in areas where wrinkles are likely to develop can in fact be quite effective.
Of course botulinum toxin is even more popular with women seeking to relax their facial muscles so that the fine lines and wrinkles they have go away, which is why this remains one of the most popular treatments with women over 40, and even men. Even more popular, and growing, as new technologies come to market, are soft tissue fillers. And brand new on the market are drugs that promise even more spectacular results, like Teosyal, which is a hyaluronic acid based filler that promises to provide even more support and flexibility than other fillers on the market, leaving the client with skin that looks, feels, and moves more naturally.
These are regulated as drugs by the FDA, and many more are primed for approval, or in the clinical trial phase, poised to come to market in 2019-2020. You will want to be prepared to answer clients’ questions as they start hearing the buzz about the latest trends from celebrities, influencers, and fashion and beauty magazines. While most of these are women, more and more men are seeking out injectable treatments too. Both genders are savvy consumers and will look to their trusted healthcare providers for the answers to their problems – whether functional or aesthetic. The future of medical technology is exciting and TSLMS is your partner in staying abreast to it all.