Children's Eyes and Vision

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Children's Oculoplastics and Reconstructive Surgery

The ophthalmology team at Children's of Mississippi includes an oculoplastic and reconstructive surgeon, a board-certified ophthamologist who has completed additional fellowship training in plastic surgery as it relates to the eyes and their surrounding structures. He deals with the management of problems of the eyelids, orbits, lacrimal system and adjacent face.

When the need calls for a multidisciplinary approach, our ocuplastic surgeon works closely with other departments, including otolaryngology (ENT), neurosurgeons, plastic and reconstructive surgeons and oral maxillofacial specialists.

Services

Our skilled oculoplastic surgery team provides procedures and treatments including, but not limited to:

  • Congenital ptosis
    Congenital ptosis is often identified early in childhood and is the result of an abnormal development of the Levator muscle in the eyelid. The muscle has not “slipped,” but it is weak and unable to fully open the eyelid. Congenital ptosis is frequently found on only one side, but may also be present on both sides.

    Children with congenital ptosis should be evaluated urgently to prevent the development of amblyopia (poor development of eyesight). Surgery should be performed to correct the ptosis if the vision becomes affected, if the patient has an abnormal head posture, or for cosmetic reasons.
  • Tearing
    Children are frequently born with obstructed tear ducts. This leads to constant tearing, and mucous accumulation along the eyelids. Most of these obstructions will resolve spontaneously and the tearing and mucous will cease.

    In fact, 90 percent will resolve by the time the child is one year old. Resolution of the obstruction can be aided by regularly massaging the lacrimal sac at the inside corner of the eyelids. This can create a fluid pressure wave that can open the tear duct. However, if it does not resolve by the time that they reach one year of age or if the tearing and mucous discharge is severe then they may need surgery to prevent future infections.

    Surgical options for children with tearing include probing the nasolacrimal duct in order to open the blockage. Silicone tubes may be inserted, and an infracture of the inferior turbinate (bone in the inside of the nose at the opening of the tear duct) may be performed depending on the severity of the obstruction.
  • Trauma
    The eyelids and the bones and tissue around the eyes can be damaged by any form of trauma. Urgent medical and ophthalmologic care assesses the health and integrity of the eye as well as the need for plastic and reconstructive surgery.

    Any injury to the eye itself is sight-threatening and should be evaluated and treated emergently to preserve vision.

    Fractures of the orbital bones can lead to loss of vision, sight-threatening hemorrhage, double vision and enophthalmos (sinking of the eye). Treatment may require surgery to repair the fracture or relieve the orbital pressure, depending on the severity of the injury.