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  • Oculoplastic surgery refers to any surgical procedure around the eye socket, eyelid, tear ducts and the face. It includes reconstruction of the eye and surrounding structures, and is used to treat a range of problems, including droopy eyelids, tumours (e.g. melanomas), and blocked tear ducts.

  • The cost of reconstructive surgery will depend on the condition being treated. A Medicare rebate may apply if the surgery is for functional reasons. Cosmetic eyelid lifts do not attract a Medicare rebate. Your surgeon will discuss the costs with you prior to surgery. If you have private health insurance, please contact your insurer to find out what level of cover you have and whether they will cover any costs.

Eyelid lesions and tumours

This surgery involves removing the lesion or tumour, followed by reconstruction of the eyelids using skin flaps and grafts to restore function and improve the cosmetic appearance as well. A local anaesthetic is generally adequate for this type of procedure.

Large skin cancers may require a team approach with a plastic surgeon or dermatologist who specialises in skin cancer.

Drooping eyelids (ptosis)

Ptosis, or drooping of the eyelid, can be present at birth (congenital ptosis) or develop later in life (involutional ptosis). It may reduce your ability to see, sometimes even completely.

Surgery can help improve the appearance of the eye and restore vision. This usually involves shortening and strengthening the muscle responsible for opening the eyelid.

Adults can have the surgery performed under local anaesthetic. Surgery can be performed on children from the age of three or four years under general anaesthesia (please note that we do not currently offer this service for children).

Blocked tear ducts

Normally, tears drain away from the eye through the tear duct (also called nasolacrimal duct). If the duct is too narrow or becomes blocked (e.g. through swelling or inflammation), the tears buildup and eventually flow down onto the face.

This excessive tearing or watering can be corrected with surgery to bypass the obstruction. Under a local or general anaesthetic, a new passage is created to bypass the obstruction and allow the fluid to drain into the nose.

Eyelid lift (blepharoplasty)

Blepharoplasty or eyelid lifts can be performed for medical and cosmetic reasons to treat hooded eyelids, baggy eyelids and drooping eyelids (ptosis). The procedure involves removing excess skin to lift the eyelids.

A Medicare rebate may apply if the surgery is for functional reasons. Cosmetic eyelid lifts do not attract a Medicare rebate.

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