What Is an Oculoplastic Surgeon?

Oculoplastic surgery is a small sub-specialty of ophthalmology. An oculoplastic surgeon is an ophthalmologist that performs cosmetic and reconstructive procedures on the eyes and face. They are trained in the evaluation and treatment of problems affecting the tissues and structures around the eyes. This includes the eyelids, eyebrows, forehead, cheeks, orbit (structures behind the eyeball) and lacrimal (tear drain) systems. Oculoplastic surgeons offer a unique blend of expertise — the technical precision of an ophthalmologist and the aesthetic and reconstructive considerations of a plastic surgeon.

Training and Experience

Oculoplastic surgeons are credentialed by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS). In order to become a member of ASOPRS, a physician must graduate medical school, finish residency training in ophthalmology, and be accepted into one of a select number of accredited two year fellowship programs. The additional training encompasses plastic and reconstructive surgery of the eyelids, orbit and lacrimal system. Before becoming a member of ASOPRS, the physician must become board certified by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, pass oral and written examinations on oculoplastic surgery, and write a thesis on oculoplastic surgery.

Areas of Expertise

  • Cosmetic oculoplastic surgery includes upper and lower eyelid surgery, forehead and brow lift surgery, and face and neck surgery. These procedures are usually performed to create a more youthful look through the removal of excess fat and skin, muscle modification and skin tightening. Among cosmetic surgeons, oculoplastic surgeons have unique expertise in surgery around the eye.
  • Reconstructive oculoplastic surgery corrects congenital or acquired deformities. The procedures can treat conditions such as eyelid ptosis, eyelid malposition, lesions or facial nerve weakness (i.e., Bell’s palsy). Surgery can also be performed to reconstruct the eyelid after cancer or traumatic injury.
  • Non-surgical cosmetic treatments are employed to minimize prominent signs of aging and enhance certain facial features. Treatments can include injectable products, fat transfer or other minimally invasive techniques.
  • Orbital oncology and surgery treats problems with the bones and tissues of the eye socket, including tumors, fractures, traumatic injuries and thyroid eye disease. It can also encompass removal of a blind, painful or disfiguring eye and reconstruction in preparation for the placement of a prosthetic eye.
  • Tear duct surgery involves the system that naturally drains tears from the eye surface. It may include removing an obstruction, reconstructing the tear duct system or placing an implant, depending on the problem.

Contact Our Oculoplastic Surgeon

Dr. McCracken is one of the most trusted and respected oculoplastic surgeons in the Denver and Boulder areas. If you would like more information about oculoplastic surgery or Dr. McCracken’s qualifications, please contact McCracken Eye and Face Institute today by calling 720-851-6600.