What is Anophthalmia?
Anophthalmia is a condition in which there is an absence of one or both eyes. It can be congenital, meaning you are born without an eye, or acquired, as a result of trauma, disease, cancer, etc. The absence of one or both eyes not only creates an abnormal appearance, but may also result in functional issues for the eye socket and lids.
It is physically and emotionally traumatic to lose an eye. While there is no treatment to create a new eye or restore vision, the goal is to restore a patient’s confidence and appearance under the most stressful circumstances. Appearance of the eyes is very important as they are windows to the soul and is problematic and anxiety provoking for patients who wear a prosthesis in one eye. In some cases, patients have gone years without wearing prosthesis because they lost hope. Dr. Douglas takes enormous pride in restoring a patient’s confidence and self-esteem by allowing them to appear with two eyes. This is extremely specialized work and Dr. Douglas has been performing and optimizing these surgeries for the last ten years.
Repairing the eye socket and eyelid issues with anophthalmia requires a very experienced surgeon. Dr. Raymond Douglas is an internationally respected oculoplastic surgeon who helps many patients with anophthalmia. To help his patients with both form and function, Dr. Douglas takes a very innovative aesthetic approach to anophthalmia surgery.
In the past, anophthalmic surgeons would only correct the functional issues so that the patient could wear a prosthetic eye. However, this approach did not do anything to improve the appearance of the eye and overall facial aesthetic. As an oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Douglas prefers to give his patients a more holistic treatment approach and always creates a surgical plan that is both aesthetic and functional.
Innovative Treatment Option
The lack of an eye not only creates an abnormal appearance but can also lead to abnormal function of the eyelids and socket.
The volume of the eye often times needs to be replaced with an implant. This needs to be done precisely to avoid issues in the future where the eye looks sunken. Over time there can be a change in appearance due to sagging tissues, problems with the implant, etc. and require specialty surgery to improve and regain the normal appearance of the prosthesis and the “eye.”
Socket reconstruction is complex and often associated with substantial scarring. Dr. Douglas and his colleagues have employed several novel methods to improve the outcome of this surgery, minimize scarring, and reduce the number of surgeries needed to create a more realistic appearance. They have published several papers on these methods which include using tissue glue and the anti-scarring agent 5FU. The tissue glue acts a zipper to keep the issues aligned while the 5FU prevents scarring. Together, they are helpful in improving outcomes in the most difficult cases.
Aesthetic Anophthalmia Surgery
Dr. Douglas provides his anophthalmia patients with the best results possible by merging the principles of traditional functional anophthalmia surgery with the aesthetic techniques he uses when performing cosmetic eyelid surgery. The goal of Dr. Douglas’ aesthetic anophthalmia surgery is always to help make the patient look like themselves, especially in the cases of eye loss due to trauma. To achieve this goal, Dr. Douglas does everything he can to bring symmetry to the two eyes. Some of the most common procedures Dr. Douglas will utilize to achieve this symmetry include adjusting the eyebrow and correcting the upper eyelid and/or lower eyelid positions.
At your anophthalmia surgery consult appointment with Dr. Douglas, he will evaluate your eye socket and lid and then provide his recommendations for giving you the best aesthetic and functional results. Furthermore, Dr. Douglas strongly believes in making sure his patients have a realistic understanding of the results. So he encourages his patients to ask as many questions as they can think of at their consult.
Please note that Dr. Douglas offers video consultations for out of town patients. Do not hesitate to call and ask for more information about our video consults.
Due to this innovative aesthetic approach to anophthalmia surgery, Dr. Douglas’ patients are very happy and confident in their appearance after surgery.
Moreover, Dr. Douglas will work with your ocularist to make sure your custom prosthetic eye fits perfectly and naturally into the reconstructed eye socket.