Meet a Specialist: Daniel R. Lefebvre, MD
Although he knew he wanted to be a surgeon from a young age, Dr. Daniel Lefebvre (pronounced Le-fave) – a full-time physician of Mass. Eye and Ear’s Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery Service – didn’t always know he wanted to be an oculoplastic surgeon. While in medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, Dr. Lefebvre was drawn to techniques used in “bigger” surgeries, such as orthopedic surgery, spine surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, and laparoscopic surgery. During his first year of general surgery training at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, in Philadelphia, PA, Dr. Lefebvre assisted in a number of multidisciplinary team efforts involving complex eye procedures, and this introduction to oculoplastics cemented his interest in pursuing ophthalmology.
“I was amazed at what the oculoplastic surgeon was doing, and I was surprised to learn he was an ophthalmologist,” remarks Dr. Lefebvre. “I realized I could be an ophthalmologist and help patients by using these techniques to repair facial fractures, remove cancer from the face and eye socket, and perform cosmetic surgery,” he recalls.
Following his ophthalmology residency at Nassau University Medical Center, Dr. Lefebvre was selected for a highly competitive two-year Oculoplastics fellowship at Mass. Eye and Ear. Sponsored by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS), fellowship slots are scarce and only 24 individuals total are matched annually with institutions and private practices throughout the U.S. and Canada.
A dedicated physician and surgeon with a kind bedside manner, Dr. Lefebvre applies his passion for precision and creativity to every surgery. “I’m obsessive about technique,” he says, “and while I recognize that no one can attain perfection, I still aim for it.” He demonstrates an unwavering commitment to his patients and invests many hours of preparation to make sure that each patient receives the best care possible. “If I have a complex case coming up,” he notes, “I will rehearse the case in my mind countless times, both anticipating potential hurdles in surgery, as well as visualizing the perfect result.”
In addition to providing high-quality, specialized care to his patients who come from all over the world, Dr. Lefebvre is committed to training the future leaders in ophthalmology. “Oculoplastic surgery is such a small field in the grand scope of things, and it’s easy to take for granted what patients and students know and don’t know,” says Dr. Lefebvre. He knows it is vital to continue to educate patients, residents and fellows alike and actively engage everyone in the treatment decision-making process.
To better serve his patients, Dr. Lefebvre also uses research to address questions that arise during the course of clinical practice. Currently, he is measuring the bony volume of the lateral orbital wall as it translates to orbital decompression surgery for the treatment of bulging eyes in thyroid eye disease. He also is assessing the effect of certain glaucoma eye drops on the eyelids, as well as collaborating with a group of scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a surgical simulator, which would train ophthalmologists how to reconstruct the area around the eye after it has suffered trauma.
Contact Dr. Lefebvre’s office at 617-573-5550.
View Dr. Lefebvre’s online bio for more information.