Aging can be frustrating! Our vision gets worse, our skin gets wrinkly, and our eyelids sag? Yes, even the last one can happen! Luckily, you can undergo eyelid surgery if your eyelids are standing in your way of seeing. Find out if you could need eyelid surgery!
When you have saggy eyelids that make it difficult to see, you may need eyelid surgery. This is also known as blepharoplasty.
Blepharoplasty is often performed if patients want to look younger. Another reason to get blepharoplasty is to fix vision problems. When the eyes begin aging, your eyelids start stretching out. As the eyelids continue stretching out, your muscles supporting them get weaker.
This can lead to saggy eyebrows, bags under the eyes, and droopy upper eyelids. Besides making you look older, these saggy eyelids can reduce your peripheral vision. This can make it more difficult to see the world around you.
The best way to know if you need eyelid surgery is to ask your eye doctor. Besides that, blepharoplasty becomes necessary if your eyelids ruin your way of life.
Not being able to see and losing your peripheral vision can be avoided with a blepharoplasty. Removing the excess tissue from your upper and lower lids can make it easier to open your eyes. As a bonus, a blepharoplasty will also make you look younger and more refreshed.
Before undergoing blepharoplasty, you’ll meet with your eye doctor and a plastic surgeon. During your meeting, you’ll discuss your medical history, as well as your expectations.
Like any procedure, blepharoplasty may not be right for everyone. It’s important to mention if you’ve had other procedures and if you have or have had eye conditions. These include dry eye, allergies, glaucoma, and diabetes, to name a few.
You’ll also undergo several examinations including a physical and visual examination. Be prepared to have your eyelids examined and your tear production tested.
Your vision is also tested to see if your peripheral vision is affected by your sagging eyelids. Besides having your vision tested, you will have photos taken of your eyelids. These will be from a few different angles and help your surgeon come up with a plan for your procedure.
If you are a candidate for blepharoplasty, stop taking medications that increase bleeding. Because a numbing medication is administered during a blepharoplasty, you’ll need a ride there. You won’t be able to drive yourself home either, so have a ride to get home as well.
Once you have checked in, the numbing medication will be injected into your eyelids. You’ll also receive medication to relax you through an IV.
Once the medications have kicked in, your surgeon begins with the upper eyelids. They cut right on the fold of the eyelid. Once the cut gets made, a small amount of excess fat, skin, and muscle gets removed. After removal, the cut is closed up.
For your lower eyelid, your surgeon makes a cut that’s either in your natural eyelid crease or in the lower lid. They will then remove or move around any excess skin, fat, or muscle as is appropriate before closing the cut.
If your upper eyelid sags near your pupil, the surgeon may decide to perform ptosis. Ptosis is another blepharoplasty procedure that gives your eyebrow muscle more support.
After the procedure is complete, you’ll go to a recovery room. This allows monitoring for any potential complications. Once cleared, you can go home to recover!
After eyelid surgery, your eyes are likely to be extra sensitive. It’s normal to experience:
Most of these symptoms go away after about a week. To speed up your recovery, make sure to put ice packs on your eyes. On the first night, put them on your eyes for 10 minutes at a time, every hour. The next day, you can put the ice packs on your eyes about four to five times during the day.
Like any other procedure, avoid strenuous activities while healing! To avoid infection or complications, gently clean your eyelids as directed. Of course, you should also use all prescribed medications from your doctor.
If you go outside, wear UV protected sunglasses. Your eyes will likely be more sensitive to the wind or sun during your recovery. Want to recover the right way? Avoid:
Although the symptoms after a blepharoplasty aren’t pretty, the results are worth it! Most swelling or bruising will go away after about 2 weeks. It may take several months for any scars to fade.
Ptosis is a condition that causes the eyelid to drop down and cover a section of the eye, which can affect your peripheral vision. At The Medical Eye Center, our board certified oculofacial surgeon Dr. Dane Slentz treats patients with ptosis and performs any other necessary oculoplastic procedures.
The position of your upper eyelid depends on the muscles that lift your lid. One common cause of ptosis is a weakened levator. The levator is the primary muscle that’s responsible for raising the eyelid.
You may have a weakened levator due to previous eye surgery, aging, or eye trauma. Other rare causes of ptosis are congenital muscle weakness or neurological disease.
If you have ptosis, it can block part of your vision and make it hard to see objects above you. It may also be harder to keep your eyes open. You may also experience headaches and brow aches from constantly using your brow muscles to lift your eyelids.
Brow ptosis repair aims to lift a droopy brow and put it back where it should go. Usually, a brow lift reduces the excess skin using different methods. The methods may include a forehead lift, a direct brow lift, or an internal browpexy.
Procedures to repair saggy brows might be covered by your health insurance if the brow’s abnormal position has affected your peripheral vision and make it hard to see the things around you.
As long your eyelid is healthy and you are in good health, you can have ptosis repair. But a patient experiencing moderate to severe dry eye symptoms is not a suitable candidate for ptosis repair.
That is because raising the position of the eyelid can worsen your dry eye. Also, patients with conditions like diabetes, stroke, Horner syndrome, and a tumor behind or around the eye are not good candidates for surgical repair.
The eyelid anatomy is highly complex. That is why ptosis repair should be performed by a highly trained oculoplastic surgeon with years of experience in the procedure, whether undertaken for medical or cosmetic reasons.
An experienced doctor with specialized ptosis repair training can assess your brows and eyelids to determine the ideal surgical plan depending on your needs and goals. The different surgical techniques created to elevate the brows have their advantages and limitations and should be tailored to your anatomy and appearance.
Like any other surgical procedure, ptosis repair comes with risks, including:
The eye area is quite delicate. That is why you should only entrust them to highly trained and experienced eye doctors. If you suspect you have ptosis that affects your vision and makes you self-conscious, schedule an appointment at The Medical Eye Center today for an accurate diagnosis and the best treatment available!
Have more questions about eyelid surgery? Request an appointment at The Medical Eye Center in Manchester, New Hampshire today!