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Ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery is a specialized area of ophthalmology that deals with the management of deformities and abnormalities of the eyelids, lacrimal (tear) system, orbit (eye socket), and the adjacent face. An ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgeon is an ophthalmologist (medical doctor and eye surgeon) who has completed additional training in plastic surgery as it relates to the eyes and their surrounding structures.

The word “plastic” is derived from a Greek word that means “to mold” or “to give form.” Plastic surgery is surgery that molds or reconstructs parts of the human body. Ophthalmic plastic surgery is plastic surgery that is limited to the structures surrounding the eye. Since this delicate surgery can affect one’s ability to see, ophthalmic plastic surgeons are best qualified to perform it and also to provide any care that the eye itself may need. Membership in the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is restricted to ophthalmologists who have been board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and who have passed rigorous tests in this specialized field.

The Department of Ophthalmology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides a comprehensive ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgical service. We offer quality and compassionate care for both children and adults. Conditions that may be treated through this service include eyelid malpositions, eyelid and orbital cancer, tearing disorders, periocular trauma, Graves’ Disease (also known as thyroid eye disease), and spastic eyelid disease (blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm). Additionally, both non-surgical and surgical facial cosmetic surgery, including blepharoplasty and Botox® injections for wrinkle reduction, are performed.