Your eyes are generally the first thing that people notice about your appearance. They are probably the most important aspect of facial attractiveness. Even with a good night’s sleep, loose skin over your eyes or puffiness under your eyes can make you look tired, sad or older than you really are.
For some people, the excess skin of the upper lids, and sometimes the underlying muscles, can interfere with good vision. Blepharoplasty eyelid surgery is one of the most common of eye procedures for both men and women because of its high level of patient satisfaction.
Blepharoplasty is performed to remove and reshape excess skin around your eye lids and brows to create a more youthful look and in some cases, to improve vision. As with all reconstructive surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. The results can be a refreshed appearance, with a younger, firmer eye area.
If you are considering blepharoplasty, you need to understand how eyelid surgery is performed and what you can expect from this procedure. This pamphlet can answer many common questions and provide you with information.
Before surgery your doctor will evaluate the condition and health of your eyes. Specifics regarding your vision, tear production, use of contact lenses, use of medications and personal expectations will be discussed. Usually a measurement of your field of vision will be plotted to see if excess skin is blocking your peripheral vision. You can also expect some “before” photography of your facial features and eye lids.
• Should be at least 18 years old, while most candidates are over 35
• Must be in good physical and mental health. Though a minor surgical procedure, there are different eyelid surgery risks for potential patients to consider
• Realistic expectations concerning the outcome of the procedure. The procedure will not remove crow's feet, smooth wrinkles around the eyes, or erase dark circles beneath the eyes
• Even those who seem like ideal candidates for eyelid surgery can be prohibited from undergoing the procedure due to specific medical or ophthalmic conditions that may elevate the risks involved in the surgery. Glaucoma and dry eye are two such ophthalmic conditions that can be aggravated by any form of surgery on the eyelids.
Eyelid surgery is generally done using local anesthetic. You may be given a mild sedative to help you relax. Depending on the amount of tissue to be removed, you could be in the operating suite for up to an hour. Along with the excess skin, the surgeon will sometimes remove excess muscle and fatty tissue that tends to accumulate behind the upper eyelid and near the inside corner of the eye near the nose. The incisions are made along the natural creases of the eyelids so that, after healing, the fine scars will be difficult or impossible to see.
For lower eyelid reconstruction, the surgeon will make the incision inside the lower lid. If there is excessive skin or muscle, an incision may also be made just below the base of the eyelashes. As this incision heals, the fine scar will become barely visible.
Most patients experience a marked improvement in the appearance of their eyes following blepharoplasty. Trusting your eyelid surgery to a BVA ophthalmologist ensures you receive the benefit of a trained and experienced specialist in the form and function of the eye. Ask your BVA doctor to advise you on blepharoplasty.
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Based on your doctor’s evaluation and your visual field test and photos, your condition will be classified “medically necessary” or “cosmetic”.
Medically necessary diagnoses usually are eligible for insurance benefits, including Medicare. Cosmetic diagnoses are usually not covered by your insurance. Lower lid surgery is not considered “medically necessary” unless there is a malpositioning of the lower lid resulting in abnormal tear flow.
Some BVA surgeons perform “cosmetic” blepharoplasty; some perform only “medically necessary” or “functional” blepharoplasty. Feel free to ask your BVA doctor about your eyelid problems.
Blepharoplasty is safely performed in a hospital outpatient setting, an ambulatory surgery center or sometimes, in a surgery suite in the doctor’s office.