Integrated Surgical Care to Treat Eye Conditions and Diseases
Loyola Medicine offers comprehensive, integrated care for eye conditions and diseases requiring eye surgery, which includes the surgical treatment of oculoplastic, ophthalmologic and orbital conditions. Our highly experienced ophthalmic, oculoplastic and orbital surgeons work as part of a clinically integrated care team, partnering with otolaryngologists, neurologists, head and neck surgeons and other specialists to provide state-of-the-art surgical techniques for many conditions and diseases of the eye.
Loyola’s surgeons have advanced training in reconstructive, ophthalmologic and cosmetic eye surgery for the eyelids, eyes, eyebrows, orbital cavity and lacrimal (tear duct) system, as well as the cheeks and forehead.
What Conditions Does Loyola Treat?
Loyola’s eye specialists offer a full range of services to treat diseases and conditions of the eyelids, eyes, eyebrows, orbital cavity and lacrimal (tear duct) system, as well as the cheeks and forehead, including:
Blepharoptosis (Redundant Eyelid Skin)
Blepharoptosis is an ophthalmological condition in which the upper eyelid falls lower than it should. Normally, the upper eyelid covers about 1 to 2 millimeters of the cornea. In a person with blepharoptosis, the eyelid blocks even more, contributing to vision loss. A person with this problem might have to manually lift their eyelid to achieve full vision.
Congenital Eyelid Deformities
Congenital eyelid deformities refer to a number of different ophthalmological conditions that develop in children. These deformities are present from birth, meaning that either the child inherited the problem from their parents or a problem occurred during their development. Some of the most common eyelid problems in children include blepharoptosis, lid retraction, canthal dystopias, entropion, ectropion, epicanthal folds, cryptophthalmos and colobomas.
Droopy Eyelids (Upper and Lower)
A droopy eyelid is an ophthalmology condition known as ptosis or blepharoptosis, in which your eyelid falls below its normal position. It can happen in one or both eyes and can affect either the upper or lower lid. In extreme cases, the drooping lid can interfere with your vision.
You can be born with ptosis or it may develop over time. Some cases are isolated occurrences, while others can warn you of more serious underlying issues with your muscles or nerves. The condition can come and go or it can become permanent.
Eyelid disease is a term used to describe several diseases or ophthalmological conditions that affect the eyelids, which are responsible for protecting and lubricating the eyes. Many eyelid diseases affect the integrity or function of your eyelid, and they can occur in both children and adults.
Eyelid lesions are one of many ophthalmological conditions characterized by abnormal tissue growths that appear within or on the eyelid. Your eyelids consist of the upper and lower skin folds that cover your eyes when you blink, and they are responsible for shielding your eyes from environmental damage and lubricating your eyes with fluid. Eyelid lesions affect the structure and function of your eyelids and can cause damage to the eye if left untreated.
The position of the eyelid is very important to the health of the eye. The eyelids need to be in a normal position to ensure eye protection, proper tear production and drainage, and to allow for normal blinking. Eyelid malposition is an ophthalmology condition that relates to the placement of the lid. Entropion eyelids are those that are “turned in” toward the eye, while ectropion eyelids are lower eyelids that are “turned out” away from the eye.
Eyelid Tumors (Benign or Malignant)
Eyelid tumors develop when normal cells found on the surface of the eyelid begin to grow and multiply uncontrollably to form a small mass or tumor.
Cancerous eyelid tumors are categorized by the type of cell the tumor develops from and include four types: basal cell carcinoma (90 percent of eyelid tumors), squamous cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma and sebaceous carcinoma. The first three types arise from epithelial or skin cells, while sebaceous carcinoma is a type of cancer arising from oil glands in the eyelid.
Orbital Trauma and Fractures
The orbit, or eye socket, is the bone surrounding the eyeball. The socket is made of seven different bones. It contains the eye and the muscles that move it, as well as tear ducts, blood vessels, certain cranial nerves and ligaments. The orbit is divided into four parts: the inferior wall, the lateral wall, the medial wall and the superior wall. Trauma can cause a fracture in one or all of these sections of the eye socket, leading to various ophthalmology conditions.
An orbital tumor is a benign or malignant lesion located in the orbit — the bony socket in the front of the skull that contains and protects the eyeball. The orbit is a complex structure; in addition to the eye itself, the orbit contains muscles, nerves and connective tissue. Tumors may form in any of these structures. Fortunately, malignant tumors of the orbit are rare.
Tumors may originate from the orbit (known as a primary tumor) or may spread from distant areas of the body (metastatic). There are several different types of orbital tumors; some tumors occur most commonly in children, while other types are more often diagnosed in adults.
Proptosis (Bulging Eye)
Proptosis, also known as protruding or bulging eye, is a condition that causes the eyeballs to protrude from the sockets and can occur in one or both eyes. Typically, it is caused by Graves’ disease, which results in overactivity of the thyroid gland.
Ptosis is an ophthalmological condition in which your upper eyelid droops. If the eyelid droops far enough and covers your pupil, you may have difficulty seeing. While many people view this issue only as a cosmetic problem, it can sometimes be a sign of a medical condition.
Ptosis can affect both children and adults. Some children are born with the condition, but most cases of ptosis develop due to aging. As you become older, the muscles in your eyelids may grow weaker over time. Illness or injury to the eye can also cause the muscles around your eye to deteriorate.
Styes and Chalazions
A stye or chalazion is a swollen lump on or near the base of your eyelid. A stye, which can also be called a hordeolum, forms at your eyelashes or under your eyelid. It may look like a pimple or a raised bump.
A chalazion can develop from an internal stye (one that forms inside the eyelid) or an oil gland becoming clogged. In severe cases, a chalazion can cause pain, swelling and blurry vision.
Thyroid Eye Disease
Thyroid eye disease, also known as Graves’ disease, is a rare autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid (a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck) and causes your eyes to bulge. Thyroid gland cells have the same surface receptors as the soft tissues and muscles surrounding the eyes. During an autoimmune attack, your immune cells target these receptors and cause the tissues within the eye socket to become inflamed and swell, pushing the eye forward.
Thyroid eye disease may be associated with increased thyroid activity because both are caused by the immune system’s attack on healthy tissue. However, treating thyroid function does not improve symptoms of thyroid eye disease. Ophthalmology conditions should be carefully monitored and treatments should focus on preserving sight and movement.
How are Oculoplastics & Orbital Surgery Diagnosed?
Comprehensive Eye Exam
Your ophthalmologist will check to see if your eye is moving as it should and make sure it is properly positioned in the eye socket.
Used to detect diabetes and autoimmune conditions. Blood tests are also used to determine levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to check for indications of Graves’ disease.
Used to determine if structural abnormalities in the eye are causing your condition.
CT Scans or MRI Scans
Used for orbital tumors to determine the location, type and size of the tumor.
Used to determine if your thyroid gland is enlarged.
Used to determine tumor type.
Using a low-power microscope and high-intensity lights, your ophthalmologist examines the structures in the front of your eyes.
How is Oculoplastics & Orbital Surgery Treated?
Loyola’s highly experienced, board-certified ophthalmic, oculoplastic and orbital surgeons specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of eye conditions and diseases. Your doctor will develop an individualized treatment plan for your condition, which may include:
Eyelid Lesion Surgery
Using various tissue flaps and grafts, reconstruction may be performed to treat a congenital deformity, eye trauma or tumor removal.
Eyelid Reconstruction after Skin Cancer Removal or Trauma
Eyelid reconstruction after skin cancer removal or trauma is an ocular procedure in which the physician rebuilds the eyelid after part of it has been removed or damaged.
Called blepharoplasty, this surgery to remove folds from the upper and lower eyelids can be performed for medical or cosmetic reasons. For some patients, an eyelid fold can interfere with vision; in other cases, this procedure is performed to restore the tone and shape of the eyelids and provide a more youthful appearance.
Loyola performs endoscopic tear duct surgery to remove obstructions through the nasal passage.
Exceptional Research to Advance Eye Surgery Treatments
Loyola’s expert eye surgery program is actively pursuing new research with a focus on patient-centered outcomes. As an academic medical center, Loyola is dedicated to improving future treatments by conducting research on new diagnostics and treatments. Loyola’s patients benefit from research discoveries made here. Read about Loyola’s current clinical trials.