Precious Sight: Making Sure Your Eyes Have It




Photo by Catie Viox

 

You are born with only two of them.

So Ginger Henson, M.D., an ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery specialist at Cincinnati Eye Institute (CEI), regularly
advises everyone she knows to do everything they can to protect their eyes. She has seen it all in her seven-year practice, from pencil-poked eyeballs and dog-bitten eyelids to an eyelid torn from getting caught on a hook and severe, sometimes fatal, bacterial eye infections.

“It all makes you so careful about your eyes,” says Henson, a graduate of Miami University who received her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She completed her residency in ophthalmology and fellowship in pediatric eye diseases at the prestigious Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami. Henson returned to Cincinnati to complete her fellowship on ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery at CEI, joining the institute in 2011.

Miami was an interesting place to live temporarily but she didn’t want to stay there, Henson recalls. “I always knew I wanted to come back to Cincinnati. When you grow up in the Midwest, nowhere else feels like home.”

CEI happened to have an opening at the same time she finished her fellowship there, Henson notes. “I feel like I lucked out. I was in the right place at the right time, and everything just fell into place.”

Most of the patients Henson sees need relief from drooping eyelids that are blocking their vision, and many need their eyelids reconstructed after having skin cancer removed. “After the cancer is removed, there is often a gap in the eyelid, or a lot of skin missing. We have to get rid of all the cancer cells, but we reserve as much tissue as possible.” Sometimes, under those circumstances, reconstructing the eyelid takes careful creativity. All in a day’s work for Henson.

“When I started medical school, I thought I was going to be a pediatrician because I love taking care of kids,” she continues. “But I found that I really enjoyed surgery, so I started looking at different surgical specialties to determine which one I wanted to go into.” She did rotations in both ophthalmology and ear, nose and throat, and the former won her over.

“I was drawn to plastic and reconstructive surgery because of the creativity involved,” Henson says. “There is a wide variety of procedures we do and a certain amount of artistry that goes along with that. Everyone’s facial structure is different, and it’s challenging to figure out what procedure or combination of procedures we can use to achieve positive results.”

Henson also performs surgeries to correct bags under the eyes, excessive tearing and eye socket problems. She is also available for consultation at CEI’s Face and Eye Aesthetic Center for patients interested in cosmetic facial rejuvenation. Available non-surgical treatments include Botox, facial fillers and CO2 laser resurfacing of the skin. “By far, the most common cosmetic outpatient procedure we do is Botox,” Henson adds. “It’s quick, easy and expensive, but it really helps with wrinkles on the forehead and with crow’s feet.”

It’s a pleasure to work at CEI, says Henson. “I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful the physicians and staff are, and how much I have enjoyed working with such an incredible group. We work well together and complement one another. I am always confident that if I have a patient with a problem outside my realm of expertise, there is someone to help me without delay. We’re all very passionate about what we do.”

Henson’s general advice for preserving one’s precious eyesight? Kids involved in sports should wear protective glasses to avoid eye fractures; anyone at a swimming pool, the beach or otherwise in direct sunlight should wear sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses to avoid skin cancer. And, as every mother has advised at one time or another, don’t run with pencils, scissors or other sharp objects in hand.

 

CEI is one of the largest ophthalmology practices in the United States with 44 ophthalmologists and 17 optometrists, many of whom are recognized among the top sub-specialists in their field, practicing in 14 locations across the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana tri-state area. Today, CEI is one of the world’s premier ophthalmic treatment, research and education centers. 

 

For more information on Cincinnati Eye Institute (CEI), call 513.984.5133 or 1.800.544.5133 or visit www.cincinnatieye.com.