Functional and Reconstructive Eye Surgery

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Duke oculoplastic surgeons specialize in surgery and diseases of the eyes and surrounding structures including the eyelids, orbits (eye sockets), and lacrimal (tear) system. Our oculoplastic surgeons offer procedures to improve your function and enhance your appearance following disease or injury.

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Oculofacial Plastic Surgeons

An oculoplastic surgeon (also called an oculofacial plastic surgeon) is an ophthalmologist who has completed additional years of training (a fellowship) in plastic and reconstructive surgery of the structures surrounding the eye. Any procedure that is done in or around the eye can affect your vision. Duke oculoplastic surgeons are highly skilled in performing these types of delicate surgeries. 

Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Types of Oculoplastic Surgeries

Our oculoplastics team performs surgery to correct deformities and other problems with your eyelids, lacrimal (tear) system, and orbit (eye socket).

Eyelid Surgery

Upper blepharoplasty removes extra skin from the upper eyelids, and ptosis repair can raise the upper eyelids and brow. Lower eyelid surgery can repair lower eyelids that roll in or out. Oculofacial plastic surgeons also perform eyelid biopsies, repair eyelids after skin cancer surgery, and help treat uncontrolled blinking and one-sided facial spasm.

Orbital Surgery

Duke oculofacial plastic surgeons offer orbital fracture repair, surgery to remove tumors behind the eye and in the eye socket, orbital decompression surgery to treat Graves’ disease, and eye removal in the case of cancer or a diseased and painful eye.

Lacrimal Surgery

If your eyes produce too many tears, the source may be your lacrimal – or “tear drain” - system. Duke oculofacial surgeons can do office testing to help determine if blockages within in the lacrimal system are contributing to your eye being “wet." Lacrimal surgery can clear or bypass blocked tear ducts to restore normal function.

What to Expect When Seeing an Oculoplastic Surgeon

Consultation and Examination

We conduct a thorough medical history and test your vision and eye health. Depending on your procedure, you may have blood work, a CT scan, or an MRI. If your procedure is medically necessary, your surgeon will take eye measurements and photographs and test your peripheral vision. Finally, we recommend a course of treatment or surgery that meets your needs. In some cases, surgery may not be necessary. For instance, one-sided facial spasm may be treated with botulinum toxin injections.

Oculoplastic Surgery Cost

Oculoplastic surgery may be covered by insurance if it is performed for a medical reason. For instance, if droopy upper eyelids impede your vision and limit everyday activities, then upper eyelid blepharoplasty or ptosis repair may be considered medically necessary. Insurance does not cover procedures performed for purely cosmetic reasons. Our financial counselor will discuss this with you to help you understand the costs and insurance requirements.

Surgery and Recovery

Oculoplastic surgery may be performed in your doctor’s office with local anesthesia or at a surgery center with IV sedation or general anesthesia. Usually these are outpatient procedures, meaning you will go home the same day. Recovery times vary by the type of surgery you have. Your doctor will see you for one or more follow-up visits to ensure you are healing in a timely fashion.

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Why Choose Duke for Oculoplastic Surgery

Highly Trained Specialists

Duke oculoplastic surgeons are board certified in ophthalmology with additional training in plastic surgery. They have the experience required to treat the full spectrum of eye disorders and to safely perform surgery in the delicate eye area. They also offer non-surgical cosmetic procedures like injections of botulinum toxins or dermal fillers, laser treatments, and more.

A Team Approach

Your medical team may include oculoplastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, ophthalmologists, aestheticians, nurses, and other staff who work together to ensure you get the best possible care.

Respected Surgeons

Our oculoplastic surgeons share their expertise through their articles in respected medical journals and by teaching the latest plastic and reconstructive surgery techniques to doctors from across the country and around the world. Our combined skill and leadership mean you work with some of the most knowledgeable and experienced oculoplastic surgeons in the U.S.

Best Eye Hospital in North Carolina

Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our ophthalmology program is ranked seventh in the nation and is the highest-ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2023–2024.

This page was medically reviewed on 12/19/2022 by