New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
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Chief of Service

Robert Della Rocca, MD

The Oculoplastic and Orbital Surgery Service has a long tradition of excellence at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE). This specialty began more than 70 years ago at NYEE and has continued its mission to provide outstanding specialty patient care and education for residents and fellows.

Ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgeons perform all types of corrective and cosmetic surgery to the eyelids, eyebrow, forehead, and tear duct system as well as repair orbital trauma and congenital problems in adults and children.

They also treat systemic illnesses including thyroid disease and lymphoproliferative disorders that may affect the orbit (eye socket). NYEE ophthalmic plastic surgeons and otolaryngology team members work closely together in cases where surgery might involve the nearby sinuses.

This subspecialty sees patients with Graves’ disease, orbital fractures, nasolacrimal duct obstructions, periorbital and eyelid neoplasms, entropion and ectropion, and ptosis.

The Oculoplastic and Orbital Clinic meets twice weekly, Wednesday and Friday mornings. During these sessions, patients are evaluated by residents and attendings in order to establish a diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan. Approximately 1,800 patients a year are seen in the clinic and more than 350 major surgical procedures and 300 minor procedures performed, mostly on an outpatient basis.

Resident Training

The teaching program in Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery includes formal lectures given during the first six months of each academic year, followed with a comprehensive written examination.

Residents from each postgraduate year spend approximately eight weeks on rotation with the Oculoplastic Service.  Patients are evaluated with the assistance of the fellow and are then presented to the attendings for discussion of appropriate management.

Residents evaluate additional patients presenting with orbital and eyelid trauma and other urgent oculoplastic problems. A rotating schedule of oculoplastic trauma attendings assures that senior staff members are available to assist the residents in all cases that require urgent attention or surgery.

Clinic organization allows for continuity of care and an effective academic and surgical experience for the residents. Residents block surgical time every week to perform cases with assigned members of the Oculoplastic Service.

During the clinic sessions, specific cases are chosen for more detailed discussion. On a regular basis, the residents have the opportunity to evaluate and treat the wide range of congenital and acquired eyelid abnormalities, lacrimal (tear duct) problems, periorbital and eyelid tumors and a significant number of eye socket problems. Systemic illnesses that may affect the orbit including thyroid disease, infectious and inflammatory diseases of the orbits and tissues around the eyes are seen frequently in our clinics and are treated medically and surgically as indicated.

CT and MRI studies are reviewed weekly or immediately as required. Members of the service have the opportunity to review the histopathology of all surgical cases with the Pathology department. We strongly encourage a multidisciplinary approach and work closely with the Pathology and Radiology departments as well as Neuro-Ophthalmology and Ocular Oncology services. In addition, the relationships with the Medical Oncology and Radiotherapy departments at Beth Israel and St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center are very strong. We are confident that the merger of New York Eye and Ear Infirmary into the Mount Sinai Health System will be advantageous.

By the completion of the residents’ rotations it is expected that the residents will be proficient in nasolacrimal duct probing and intubation, dacryocystorhinostomy, entropion and ectropion repair, eyelid laceration repair, enucleation, evisceration, and ptosis repair.

Over the past three decades, 30 national and over 80 international fellows have trained in our program, many of whom have become leaders as clinicians and teachers both here and abroad.  


As well as our ongoing, established work, we are excited about upcoming clinical research projects including a retrospective study of visual results following orbital decompression utilizing combined endoscopic and orbital approaches to the orbit to treat compression and visual loss associated with thyroid eye disease. Prospective clinical studies involving several aspects of thyroid eye disease are also planned.

In the clinics, we evaluate a large number of patients initially seen on the Ocular Trauma service with complicated trauma to the orbit and eyelids. Fracture repair techniques and results associated with co-existent ocular trauma are being studied.  Inflammatory diseases of the orbit are challenging and, in conjunction with the Pathology department, we plan on conducting multifaceted studies to define immunological causes of this disease. We are grateful for the strong support of the Geraldine S Violett Foundation in conducting these works.

Robert C. Della Rocca, MD
Director of Service

Janet Roen, MD
Associate Director of Service

Attendings on our Service:

David Della Rocca, MD
Kayvan Keyhani, MD
Debra Kroll, MD
Simeon Lauer, MD
Elizabeth Maher, MD
Bruce Moskowitz, MD
Harsha Reddy, MD
Alexander Rabinovich, MD
Ocularist: David Gougelman

Read more about the Resident Training Program in Ophthalmology and Fellowship Opportunities in Oculoplastic & Orbital Surgery.



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