Wendy W. Lee, M.D., M.S., says creativity is what drove her to specialize in oculoplastic surgery, completing a two-year oculoplastic fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, after her residency in ophthalmology at Tulane University Medical Center, New Orleans.
“Oculoplastic surgery fits my personality because of the creativity involved, interesting surgeries, wide variation of disease processes and pathology. I never get bored,” she says.
Today, Dr. Lee is associate professor of clinical ophthalmology and dermatology, and director of the Bascom Palmer Aesthetics Center, which is part of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Fla.
About one-third of her academically-based practice is aesthetics, while the rest is functional.
“I’m passionate about the field, and I believe it’s an important part of an ophthalmology practice,” says Dr. Lee, who trains providers from ophthalmology, dermatology, plastic surgery and ENT, among other specialties, and helps guide them in adding aesthetics to their practices.
Dr. Lee shares her insight about ophthalmology and aesthetics with The Aesthetic Channel.
The Aesthetic Channel: What kinds of facial aesthetic challenges do you address with your patients?
Dr. Lee: We do an entire comprehensive cosmetic consultation to include everything from topical skin care, to injectables, including botulinum toxins and dermal fillers, to neck injectables. Then, we get into devices, such as laser and light therapy, as well as surgical options. Each consultation is tailored to the individual patient.
The Aesthetic Channel: What types of surgery?
Blepharoplasty (upper and lower lids) and brow lifts are the most common cosmetic surgeries that we do.
The Aesthetic Channel: Your practice—the entire group—ranges from general to aesthetic ophthalmology, correct?
Dr. Lee: Bascom Palmer Eye Institute offers services covering the gamut of ophthalmic subspecialties and even includes optometry and contact lens services.
Aesthetic Channel: How does aesthetics fit into the practice philosophy?
Dr. Lee: Aesthetics fits into my practice philosophy as an oculoplastic surgeon because it completes the package of comprehensive care for my patients. Although not every patient will be interested in this part of my practice, I find it valuable to have for those patients who are interested and would benefit from this type of care.
Oculoplastic surgery is the primary department within the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute that offers cosmetic services. But aesthetics is becoming very popular across multiple specialties within ophthalmology and outside. Within ophthalmology, I am aware of many corneal specialists and general ophthalmologists who are incorporating aesthetics into their practice. Outside of ophthalmology, I train dentists, nurse practitioners, pediatricians, neurologists, OB/GYNs, etc.