What Is the Difference Between an Ophthalmic Surgeon and an Oculoplastic Surgeon?

What Is the Difference Between an Ophthalmic Surgeon and an Oculoplastic Surgeon?

The terms “ophthalmic surgeon” and “oculoplastic surgeon” are similar, and for the layperson, the terminology can be perplexing. The team at Los Angeles area Eyesthetica understands where confusion can arise, and we want our patients to understand the difference between these terms and exactly what our doctors do. Read on for an explanation.

What These Doctors Have in Common

Both ophthalmic surgeons and oculoplastic surgeons are medical eye doctors. They earn medical degrees and perform residency training in ophthalmology. Both receive certification from the American Board of Ophthalmology. Ophthalmic surgeons typically focus on treating eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma and retinal problems. An oculoplastic surgeon, on the other hand, starts out as an ophthalmic surgeon but completes additional training to widen their scope of expertise with the eyelids and face.

Unique Training and Experience

Oculoplastic surgeons are ophthalmologic surgeons that have completed one to two years of additional fellowship training in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures on and around the eyes. Only approximately 20 surgeons complete this training every year.

Oculoplastic surgeons receive certification from the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS), the primary governing board of this specialty. To be admitted into this organization, an oculoplastic surgeon must pass rigorous written and oral examinations testing their knowledge and skills.

There is simply no substitute for this kind of training and experience.

What Do Oculoplastic Surgeons Do?

Oculoplastic surgeons evaluate and treat diseases and conditions that affect the eyelids, tear system, orbit and adjacent areas of the face. These include:

  • eyelid ptosis
  • eyelid trauma or lacerations
  • entropion and ectropion
  • eyelid spasms
  • thyroid eye disease
  • orbital tumors or fractures
  • problems involving the tear duct or tear drain

Oculoplastic surgeons are also trained and experienced in treatment of cosmetic problems, such as addressing signs of aging (e.g., loose skin, wrinkles, lines). They usually offer a range of cosmetic treatments including injectables, resurfacing procedures, chemical peels and sometimes eyelash enhancement.

Meet the Eyesthetica Team

The Eyesthetica doctors are all oculoplastic surgeons and members of the ASOPRS. We are proud to be part of this elite group of approximately 500 worldwide.

If you are experiencing a problem with your eyes or the area of your face around your eyes, Eyesthetica can help. Please contact our practice and request a consultation with our oculoplastic surgeons. Call (213) 234-1000 or email us today to make your appointment.