Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship

This program is two years in duration and is administered under the sponsorship of the University of Minnesota and the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic Reconstructive Surgery.

This fellowship is sponsored by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Inc. (ASOPRS).

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota is a tertiary ophthalmic care provider serving a large urban metropolitan area, in addition to referral networks extending across the upper Midwest. With multiple providers in every ophthalmic subspecialty within the department, there is a fantastic variety of pathology and unique opportunities for collaboration in clinical and surgical care. 

The Oculoplastic and Orbital Surgery fellowship is a surgically active fellowship with the fellow participating in all surgical cases including cosmetic and reconstructive eyelid surgery, lacrimal surgery, orbital surgery, and socket surgery. The attendings operate in a variety of surgical settings throughout the twin cities including University of Minnesota Clinic and Surgery Center, Fairview Southdale Hospital Eye and Same Day Surgery, Phillips Eye Institute, Maple Grove Surgery Center, Centennial Lakes Surgery Center, University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital and United Hospital.

Office responsibilities involve all aspects of functional and cosmetic ophthalmic plastic pre-operative and post-operative care.  The fellow assists Dr. Harrison and Dr. Mokhtarzadeh.  Pre- and post-operative patient evaluation occur largely during office sessions at the University Eye Clinic, Lions Children’s Eye Clinic, MHealth Maple Grove Eye Clinic and at Minnesota Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery Specialists. The fellowship begins with an intense exposure to ophthalmic plastic surgery.  After this core experience, exposure is possible in craniofacial surgery, ENT/facial plastic surgery, dermatology, Mohs surgery, plastic surgery, neuro-imaging, and neuro-ophthalmology.

Recent fellow case logs have demonstrated the following 1-year totals as primary surgeon:

Orbit: 90-150
Eyelid: 500-750
Blepharoplasty: 100-200
Eyelid and Facial Reconstruction: 80-120
Lacrimal: 70-130

Total as primary surgeon: 1000-1200


There are two full-time clinical faculty members on the Oculoplastic and Orbital Surgery Service: Andrew Harrison, MD and Ali Mokhtarzadeh, MD. The other ad hoc faculty include Eric Nelson, MD, Jill Melicher-Larson, MD and Merideth Baker, MD.

Academic Activity

The fellow is actively involved in resident teaching in the clinic, laboratory, and in the operating room in preparation for academic endeavors following completion of the fellowship.  The Fellow gives a number of lectures to the residents and staff.  The fellow also helps organize both an orbital dissection course and a practical course in basic principles of ophthalmic plastic surgery for residents and ophthalmologists in practice. The fellow will develop expertise with the oculoplastic literature and is asked occasionally to discuss articles at Journal Club. When possible, the fellow attends weekly departmental grand rounds and a weekly case review conference.

In further preparation for teaching responsibilities following the fellowship, the past fellows have built large clinical image collections.  The preceptors emphasize clinical photography in their practices.

High surgical volume and a well-maintained database provide excellent opportunities for clinical studies.  Numerous important advances in orbital, adnexal, and facial anatomy have resulted from research conducted in the University of Minnesota Department of Ophthalmology and in collaboration with other investigators.