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Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery: A History in the Making

  • Murray A. Meltzer
  • Ann Ostrovsky
Chapter

Abstract

The subspecialty of ophthalmic plastic surgery was born in the mid-twentieth century in the United States at the conclusion of World War II. The art of oculoplastic surgery, however, is centuries old, bearing its roots in antiquity in India, the Far East, and Europe. The principles and basic techniques that have been improved upon and refined over the years are inherent in the disciplines of ophthalmology and plastic surgery. Thus, a history of ophthalmic plastic surgery is inevitably a history of the development of both fields. The various procedures that have evolved over centuries can be divided into several general categories: reconstructive, restorative, and cosmetic. Each of these categories deals with restoring or enhancing structure as well function to damaged or malfunctioning adnexal structures. Numerous adnexal structures make up the periorbita, and throughout time, oculoplastic surgeons have perfected, refined, and pioneered new techniques of lacrimal surgery, ptosis repair and blepharoplasty, orbital surgery, lid malpositions, and flaps and grafts. Oculoplastic surgery became recognized as a unique subspecialty of ophthalmology at the end of World War II. Numerous orbital and periocular injuries were treated by general ophthalmologists without prior training or exposure to ophthalmic plastic surgery. For these surgeons topic literature, exchange of experiences with colleagues and across disciplines, and more often than not, trial and error were keys in developing these procedures. After the war, interest in the subfield of ophthalmic surgery grew, and eventually, an organized association dedicated solely to the field of ophthalmic plastic surgery was formed. This chapter is a testament to those great minds that weaved the broad array of ophthalmic techniques into a quilt of a distinct subspecialty.

Keywords

Orbital Surgery Transconjunctival Approach Ocular Prosthesis Canalicular Obstruction Eyelid Reconstruction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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