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Other Medically Necessary Procedures

Eyelid Cancers and Orbital Tumors

Skin cancers can appear on the eyelid, eyelid margin and brow region. The most common skin cancer to affect the eyelid is Basal Cell Carcinoma, which is primarily caused by ultraviolet light exposure. Most cancers of the eyelid are curable when identified and treated early. It is important to note that not all lesions on the eyelid are cancerous. The oculoplastic surgeons at Minnesota Eye Consultants are trained to recognize and distinguish cancerous from non-cancerous lesions and can recommend appropriate treatment.

Oculoplastic surgeons are uniquely trained to reconstruct the eyelid after it has been affected by cancer. Depending on the particular situation, some patients may have to have the tumor removed by their Dermatologist, then our goal is to repair the eyelid in the most aesthetically pleasing manner possible.

If you are concerned about a bump on your eyelid or if a raised, irregular lesion appears, contact Minnesota Eye Consultants for an examination.

Thyroid Eye Disease

One of the most common thyroid diseases is hyperthyroidism, in which there is an overproduction of thyroid hormones. Thyroid Eye Disease occurs when a patient experiences some complications in relation to the eye. Eye problems are most commonly caused by abnormal swelling of the soft tissues surrounding the eyes, and enlargement of the muscles that move the eyes and open the eyelids. As a result, the eyes may protrude forward, there may be retraction of the upper eyelids which forces the lids apart, there is an inability to fully close the eyelids, and an abnormally large amount of the front of the eye is exposed. This results in wide, prominent eyes, a fixed staring expression, and infrequent blinking of the eyelids.

There are surgical options available to those with Thyroid Eye Disease, as well as medical intervention options to alleviate the swelling. Contact your doctor at Minnesota Eye Consultants – Oculoplastics to schedule a consultation.

Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s Palsy is a form of facial paralysis resulting from the dysfunction of cranial nerve VII. Patients with this condition are unable to control facial muscles on the affected side. Several conditions are thought to cause facial paralysis including brain tumors, stroke, and Lyme Disease. However, if no specific cause can be identified, the condition is known as Bell’s Palsy. There is no cure or standard course of treatment for Bell’s Palsy. The most important factor in treatment is to eliminate the source of the nerve damage.

Bell’s Palsy affects each individual differently. Some cases are mild and do not require treatment as the symptoms usually go away on their own within two weeks. For others, treatment may include medications and other therapeutic options.

Another important factor in treatment is eye protection. Bell’s Palsy can interrupt the eyelid’s natural blinking ability, leaving the eye exposed to irritation and drying. As you can imagine, keeping the eye moist and protecting the eye from debris and injury, especially at night, is important. Lubricating eye drops (such as artificial tears), eye ointments or gels, and eye patches may be recommended by the physician.

Some cases require physical therapy to stimulate the facial nerves and help maintain muscle tone. Facial massage and exercises may help prevent permanent contractures (shrinkage or shortening of muscles) of the paralyzed muscles before recovery takes place. Moist heat applied to the affected side of the face may help reduce pain.

What is the Prognosis?

The prognosis for individuals with Bell’s Palsy is generally very good. The extent of nerve damage determines the extent of recovery. Improvement is gradual and recovery times vary. With or without treatment, most individuals begin to improve within two weeks after the initial onset of symptoms and most recover completely, returning to normal function within 3 to 6 months. For some, however, the symptoms may last longer. In a few cases, the symptoms may never completely disappear. In rare cases, the disorder may recur, either on the same or the opposite eye.

Drs. Lipham and Melicher of Minnesota Eye Consultants can help those suffering from Bell’s Palsy regain the ability to close the affected eye. If you are suffering from Bell’s Palsy and are experiencing trouble with the affected eye, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Facial Fractures

There are many types of facial fractures. Because the eye sockets are a central location on the face, they are commonly involved in accidents involving the face. The oculoplastic surgeons at Minnesota Eye Consultants perform primary repairs after accidents, as well as secondary repairs in people who have had accidents many years ago or recently had surgery that did not produce a satisfactory result.

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