Is oculofacial surgery complex … or merely complicated?

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Purpose of review

There is confusion in all of healthcare, including oculofacial surgery, as to what is ‘complex’ and what is ‘merely complicated’. Although in common usage, these terms tend to be interchangeable, the distinction is more than trivial. A different and somewhat unfamiliar toolset is needed to successfully navigate complex problems. This review will explore a methodology for the physician to understand what is complex in oculofacial surgery, the tools needed to optimize performance in a complex healthcare system and successfully manage patients with complex diseases.

Recent findings

A specific understanding of complexity science in oculofacial surgery is only in its nascent beginnings at this point. Nevertheless, recent advances in closely related fields can provide concrete applications. The practice of oculofacial surgery is optimized within a healthcare network of supporting professionals. Moreover, a newer understanding of the ‘complex’ nature of disease common to oculofacial surgery, such as neoplasia and inflammation, will direct the physician to recognize the most appropriate therapies.


Oculofacial surgery, like all of medicine, is a fluid mixture of problems that are complex and those that are merely complicated. As a different toolset is needed to deal with each, physicians need to recognize these differences and acquire those tools.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles