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Johns Hopkins Bayview News - Oculoplastic Surgery: Seeing Is Believing

Fall 2013

Oculoplastic Surgery: Seeing Is Believing

By: Sara Baker
Date: October 7, 2013


Kevin George and his wife Cheryl spending an evening together on the beach
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Kevin George enjoys an evening on the beach with his wife Cheryl. After cancer treatment required removal of part of his left lower eyelid, oculoplastic surgeons rebuilt the lid using parts of his upper eyelids.

When Kevin George, a Berlin, Maryland, resident and outdoor enthusiast, noticed a bump on his eyelid that resembled a sty, he didn’t ignore it. He saw a local doctor who told him not to worry about it, but something didn’t feel right, so he sought a second opinion. The bump turned out to be skin cancer, and George was referred to the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Bayview.

The oculoplastic surgeons at Wilmer specialize in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures to improve the appearance and function of the eyelids and face. Injuries, congenital defects, aging and tumors can all cause pain, loss of function, vision loss and disfigurement. The specialists at Wilmer are able to correct these problems to restore patients’ vision, appearance and confidence.

In George’s case, removing the cancer required removal of his lower eyelid. Immediately following this procedure, George underwent a second procedure with Wilmer oculoplastic surgeon Timothy McCulley, M.D., to rebuild his lower lid using parts of his upper eyelids. “It was the best experience,” says George. “When they pulled my bandage off, I looked completely normal. My lid functions perfectly.” George is now back to working and playing outdoors, although he did recently purchase his very first pair of sunglasses to protect his eyes and prevent further damage.

Dr. McCulley sees a lot of patients with eyelid bumps. Some turn out to be cancerous, and some don’t—the important thing is to always have them checked out by a professional. Another common reason patients come to Dr. McCulley? Excess skin or fat around the eyes, which often comes with aging. Eyelid surgery can be performed to remove this skin and fat, restoring the function and appearance of the eyes. Oculoplastic surgeons also treat poor drainage of eyelids (watery eyes), trauma to the eyelids and orbits, and thyroid eye disease, and offer strictly cosmetic procedures like Botox, which Dr. McCulley says is a very safe and effective way to eliminate crow’s-feet and furrows in the brow.

What sets the Wilmer Eye Institute apart is the experience of its surgeons. “We see the most complex cases,” says Dr. McCulley, “which makes the routine cases that much less challenging for us.”

To schedule an appointment at the Wilmer Eye Institute, call 410-550-2360.

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