Oculoplastic Surgery FAQs

Oculoplastic Surgery FAQs

What is an oculoplastic surgeon?

An oculoplastic surgeon is a highly-specialized physician that has been extensively trained in both ophthalmology and plastic surgery. An oculoplastic surgeon is qualified and trained to treat medical and cosmetic conditions related to the face, particularly around the eyes, eyelids, forehead, eyebrows, and middle of the face.


Why choose an oculoplastic surgeon?

Dr. Duffy is Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is fellowship trained in oculoplastics. Dr. Duffy's education and training as an ophthalmologist can assure patients that while discussing cosmetic goals, Dr. Duffy will always take added precautions to safely maintain a patient's eyes and vision.

Dr. Duffy is sub-specialized as an oculoplastic surgeon. As medical and technological advances arise, people are able to achieve a higher standard of wellness. These very specialized physicians know the latest research and technology in their highly-specific field.


What happens during a consultation?

Dr. Duffy is dedicated to his patient from the first visit to the last post-operative appointment. He and his staff are happy to answer any questions or calm any concerns. During the first consultation, you will meet with Dr. Duffy's staff for an overview of your medical and eye history. From there, Dr. Duffy reviews tests results and meets with patients to discuss their goals and questions. Dr. Duffy will then create a personalized plan to best achieve your goals. We ask all new patients to plan on spending about an hour at our office for the initial consultation.


Do I need to schedule the appointment immediately?

No. Dr. Duffy and his staff advise patients to be thoughtful about their decision to have surgery. We want the patient to be comfortable with their decision. Dr Duffy also welcomes patients who just aren't sure if surgery is right for them or just want to learn what can be done.


Will my photo be taken?

Yes, patient photos will be taken. Dr. Duffy always takes photos prior to surgery, and again post-surgery. These photos help the patient and Dr. Duffy view the progress of the treatment. Please note: all photos taken are protected by law in the patient's confidential medical record.


What should I do if I have more questions?

Dr. Duffy and his staff are happy to answer all patients' questions. If specified, Dr. Duffy can meet with a patient again to answer any further questions. We welcome all questions, as we want patients to be knowledgeable during the decision-making process.


What tests do I need before surgery?

Pre-surgical testing will depend on what type of surgery. In-patient procedures require minimal testing.


What type of anesthesia will be used?

Anesthesia will depend on what type of surgery. Some surgeries require general anesthesia. In most cases, Dr. Duffy uses local anesthesia to ensure patient comfort during and after surgery. During the consultation, Dr. Duffy will discuss any concerns or questions about anesthesia.


How much will my procedure cost?

Our customized approach is geared towards each patient's unique goals and issues. During the initial consultation, Dr. Duffy and his staff will take a significant amount of time to discuss the costs of each procedure and ensure the patient agrees with the financial responsibility.


Will my insurance cover my procedure?

If a procedure is done for cosmetic purposes, it will not be covered by insurance. However, insurance may cover procedures that are done for medical reasons. Most insurance companies require a prior authorization before surgery to determine if it is truly a medical condition.

Please note: Patient cases are solely approved by their insurance company. Dr. Duffy and his staff are not able to impact the insurance process.


Do I need this surgery/procedure?

Ultimately this is a personal decision for only a patient to decide. Dr. Duffy is happy to discuss any concerns patients have during the initial consultation. If the procedure is medically-indicated, Dr. Duffy will let the patient know if it is in his or her best interest to go ahead with the procedure. However, if it is for cosmetic reasons, Dr. Duffy advises patients to ask themselves if the issue they want corrected bothers them daily, if it keeps them from normal daily life, or if it is something that affects self-confidence. If so, it's a good idea to contemplate having the procedure.


What if I am scared or nervous?

Dr. Duffy and his staff understand that the choice to have a surgery or procedure done is a big decision. The staff will be with patients during their entire time at BayCare Clinic Eye Specialists. Questions are encouraged throughout the process.


Will I have pain after my procedure?

Pain levels can vary from each procedure or surgery and from patient to patient. Dr. Duffy tries to make each experience as comfortable and pain-free as possible. At the initial consultation, Dr. Duffy and his staff will discuss the pre- and post- operative instructions. They will make sure the patient has all the materials and medications needed to have a comfortable healing time.


What is the typical recovery timeline?

Recovery times can vary from each procedure and surgery. During your initial consultation, Dr. Duffy will discuss the recovery expectations. The average recovery time for most procedures is about two weeks. However, many patients are cleared to return to daily activities, like work, three to four days after surgery. Recovery time is also very dependent on patient's choice or ability to follow healing instructions. Each body is different and heals at its own rate.


Will there be scarring?

Scarring can vary from each procedure and surgery. During your initial consultation, Dr. Duffy will discuss a patient's chances of scarring. Dr. Duffy and his staff will also help patients through the healing process to reduce chances of scarring.


What are the risks of surgery?

During the initial consultation, Dr. Duffy will discuss all risks and benefits of surgery with you. Risks of surgery in the mid- to upper face include infections, scarring, loss of vision, bleeding, asymmetry and failure of surgery to correct the issues. These risks are low, but as stated before, vary between procedures.


What is Ptosis?

Ptosis is the term for drooping of one or both eyelids. This can become a problem if the upper eyelid causes a partial or total obstruction of vision. Ptosis can be caused by several factors including age-related muscle weakening, congenital weakness, any kind of trauma, or even a neurological issue.

Ptosis can be treated with surgery which tightens the muscle, in turn, lifting the eyelid.


What is Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty is a surgery to repair eyelids. This surgery can correct droopy eyelids, remove excess skin, muscle, or fat, among many other conditions. Blepharoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure.


What is Entropion?

Entropion occurs when the eyelid rolls inward toward the eyeball. Trauma, age, muscle weakening, or scarring may cause entropion. The eyelid may irritate the eyeball. It's important to contact an ophthalmologist if an eyelid continuously rolls toward the eyeball. The usual treatment includes surgery and medicated ointment. Almost all cases of entropion can be easily treated surgically and patients usually feel immediate relief.


What is Ectropion?

Ectropion is the medical term for a "rolled out" lower eyelid. The eyelid may sag and pull away from the eye, exposing the eyeball and the inner eyelid surface. This may cause dryness, irritation, redness, a "gritty" feeling, and discharge from the eye, among other things. Almost all cases of ectropion can be easily treated surgically.


What is a blowout fracture?

Blowout fractures are usually caused by trauma to the orbital bones, or the bones around the eyes. Bruising, swelling, double vision, pain,tenderness and a "sunken" eye are all common symptoms. Dr. Duffy is highly-trained and skilled to deal with the delicate facial bones.

We will perform a CT scan or X-ray to find the blowout fracture. After it is confirmed, surgery may or may not be recommended depending on the size of the fracture and any possible associated problems. If surgery is recommended it is desirable to perform it between the 4th and 14th days after the trauma. Your doctor will then decide the best surgical method for you.


What is an eyelid tumor?

The eyelid's thin skin is extremely sensitive, and because of that, it is first to show signs of sun or other serious damage. There are a few types of eyelid tumors: malignant and benign. An oculoplastic surgeon is usually able to successfully remove the growth and/or reconstruct it after removal of large or aggressive tumors. Consult an ophthalmologist if your eyelid changes color, texture or shape.


What is eyelid reconstruction?

Eyelid reconstruction is necessary or preferred after a trauma, growth or tumor is removed. The surgeon will use tissue from around the eye to repair the eyelid's aesthetic and function.


What if I have a problem with my tear system?

Tears play an important part in eye health and good vision. Tears lubricate and clean debris off the eye's surface. Tears actually focus the light entering the eye more than the internal lens. If the tear system is disrupted, tearing, irritation, burning, and blurred vision may result.

Other health issues and activities like watching television, driving, or using a computer can lead to abnormal tear function. Treatments include over the counter artificial lubricant drops, medication, and also, plugging the tear drains.


What is an obstructed tear duct?

When a tear duct is blocked, tears cannot drain normally. This can cause your eye to be watery and possibly irritated. In serious cases, patients may experience excessive tearing, discharge or infection, swelling, and at times, blurred vision.

A blocked tear duct is usually treatable.


What is orbital surgery?

Orbital surgery deals with the fragile bones and tissues around the eye socket. Causes for orbital surgery include trauma, tumors, or other health issues.


How do you treat orbital tumors?

An orbital tumor or infection is usually caused by a sinus infection; other causes include trauma or a compromised immune system. Contact an ophthalmologist as soon as possible as these infections are rapidly destructive. Treatments include antibiotics and surgery, but is usually highly successful.


How do you treat orbital trauma?

Any injury to the eye should be examined, as one trauma may cause problems with the eyelid, eyeball, and the orbit. Orbital injuries may cause double vision and pain. Some injuries may not need to be treated if it does not impair the eyeball.


What is thyroid eye disease?

Thyroid eye disease, also known as Graves' Eye disease, is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder which affects the orbit of the eye. A thyroid disorder may be a precursor to this issue. Symptoms include inflammation, bulging eyes, and retraction of the eyelids. With help from an ophthalmologist, patients are able to manage the issue; if it becomes severe, surgical or medical intervention is recommended.


Do you perform oculoplastic surgery on children?

Yes, we perform a variety of oculoplastic surgeries on children. Children can have issues with their tear system, eyelid, and orbit, just like adults. These issues can arise from trauma, tumors or growths, or a birth defect. Dr. Duffy is skilled in the treatment of children and is happy to answer both the parent's and children's questions.

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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.