Eyelid Surgery Used to Recover the Loss of an Eye
- 08 July 2014
- Dr. Nidal (Nick) Masri
This summer, tragedy struck the family of a three year girl, Victoria. She was attack by a pit bull while outside playing at her grandparents’ house. The injuries were serious, and life threatening at first, but after stabilization and incredibly medical care she was promise
the rest of her life. She was left with several damage to her facial features and lost her right eye during the attack along with many other injuries. She spent weeks in the hospital and when she was finally released, she wished for nothing but some Kentucky Fried Chicken. Hoping to put a smile on their recently attacked little girl, the family took her into the KFC restaurant for the first time since the accident. Instantly, there were stares and glares. And then the unthinkable happen… the family was asked to exit the building because the little girl’s injuries were repulsing customers.
Since this accident, fundraisers have been arranged to support the hospitalization and reconstructive procedures that Victoria has to endure. The fundraisers have been very successful, and thank goodness for that because she is going to have a long road ahead of her filled with numerous reconstructive surgeries.
Naturally, she is very shy and timid because she is self-conscious of the injuries she has. She is young, but she knows she looks different. One of the biggest physical deficiencies right now is the loss of her right eye.
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Victoria will first have to have an eyelid reconstruction. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can be done in several different ways with several different purposes. Sometimes blepharoplasties are done to remove excess fatty tissue under the eye, or relieve wrinkles and loose skin around the orbital area. Droopy eyelids can be so severe to disrupt the line of vision for some people. This correction can be made with eyelid surgery.
In Victoria’s situation, the eyelid will need to be completely reconstructed using a skin graft. Unfortunately, during an attack where the eye is lost, it is very hard to save the features surrounding the eye socket.
After a prosthetic eye is made, then the eyelid structures can be put in place. Although the eye will never be functional, meaning eye sight will never be regained in Victoria’s right eye, the artificial eyelid, eye socket and eyeball may prevent future soul crushing stares.
After Victoria has regained the orbital structures, physical therapists will begin working on restoring normal facial movements. This will not come easy and will require a lot of time and dedication from the family surrounding this young girl. The good news is that since Victoria is so young, she will likely adapt to these changes quite well and in a quit manner. Plastic surgery will mostly alleviate the appearance deficiencies while Victoria herself will work through the functional losses.
This story illustrates the importance of plastic and reconstructive surgery for an entire family. Patients like Victoria make the work of surgeons rewarding and uplifting. It reminds all those in the field that we are needed and that plastic surgery can truly make a difference in people’s lives.