Oculoplastic Surgery Research

At Boston Children’s Hospital, we’re continually learning from our experiences with patients, evaluating the most current data and studying the causes of diseases and new treatments with the aim of developing innovative methods for caring for kids.

Focused on kids

Most adults who suffer from ptosis or drooping eyelids have a normal eyelid muscle (levator) that has just lost some of its functionality. Children with congenital ptosis, however, have a very different problem because their levator either never formed at all or formed improperly.

Children’s is one of the only hospitals in the country with a designated specialist in pediatric oculoplastic surgery.

And because the underlying conditions are different between adults with ptosis and kids with ptosis, it’s important that your child visit a surgeon who has experience correcting this congenital problem and helping children with ptosis see normally.

Multidisciplinary team

We are home to the world’s largest Vascular Anomalies Center, a team of more than 20 physicians — representing 16 medical and surgical specialties — who are experts in the field of vascular anomalies.When doctors in other states or other countries need help diagnosing or treating vascular anomalies like a lymphatic malformation that can affect the orbit of the eye, they come to us.

  • A lymphatic malformation can affect your child’s eye because it can expand very quickly as a result of upper respiratory infections or even a sustained sneezing episode.
    • A large, lymphatic malformation can threaten your child’s vision by putting pressure or stretch on the optic nerve.

The Oculoplastic Program works side by side with interventional radiologists at the Vascular Anomalies Center to provide unique treatment for this very complicated condition.

New surgical technique for hemangiomas decreases facial scarring

Every surgical operation results in a scar of some size. However, John B. Mulliken, MD, co-director of Children’s Vascular Anomalies Center, has developed an innovative way to reduce scars resulting from surgical removals of hemangiomas.

Instead of using a traditional excision that leaves a linear scar, we often remove hemangiomas with a circular excision and something called a “purse-string suture.” This technique results in a scar that’s about one-third of the length of a scar from the traditional surgical method.

To watch a short video where Mulliken talks about how he developed this new technique and its benefits, click here.