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Eyelids(Blepharoplasty)

The indications

Eyelid surgery or Blepharoplasty is a relatively simple procedure that can have a profound impact on your overall facial appearance. If your upper eyelids are hooded, or overhang and droop, then you may be a candidate for upper eyelid surgery. If there are permanent bags or puffiness of your lower eyelids, a lower blepharoplasty may be your best option. Some patients benefit from both procedures. In the case of “sad” eyes, there are techniques that can reposition the outer corner of the eye. This is a Canthopexy or Canthoplasty. The shape and proportion of the your upper and lower eyelids as well as the position of the outside corner of the eye are determined by several factors including heredity and aging.

Diabetes and thyroid disease may increase the risk of complications but do not preclude eyelid surgery. These conditions will require a medical clearance from your physician and/or ophthalmologist.

The procedure

Upper eyelid surgery creates a more alert, youthful appearance by removing excess skin and fatty tissue. This is done through an incision placed in the natural crease of the eyelid where the scar will be as imperceptible as possible.
The lower eyelid procedure, on the other hand, is predicated on the amount of excess skin present. If removing fatty tissue is all that is needed to improve the appearance, then a small incision inside the lower lid is sufficient. If excess skin is also present, then the incision will be placed just under the lower eye lashes and may extend a variable but short distance into the crow’s feet. In either case, the fat may be removed, redistributed or even added.

In the case of “sad” eyes, an additional procedure called a Canthopexy or Canthoplasty may be necessary. These procedures reposition and reinforce the tendons at the outer corner of the eye to support the lower eyelid. Symmetry is very important. Although this does not require any additional incisions, it is a very delicate procedure and should be performed by an experienced surgeon.

Upper and lower eyelid surgery can be performed independently or together. It is usually performed under local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. Also other facial cosmetic procedures can be performed concurrently under the same type of anesthesia.

What to expect

You can expect that your eyelids will feel “tight” and your vision may be blurred. This is due to swelling, and will subside with time. There may be mild discomfort at the incision site, but this should dissipate within a day or two. Elevating your head and using ice compresses for the first 2 weeks helps decrease the swelling, discomfort and the bruising. There maybe a brief period of time when you will not be able to close your eyes and the ointments and eye drops will help to keep them moist. Stitches are removed in 5 to 7 days. You can expect to return to work at a sedentary job after that. No strenuous physical activity is allowed until 2 weeks. Eye make can be applied and contact lens can be worn after 2 weeks.

While not permanent, the results of eyelid surgery should last approximately 10 years. Even though the procedure is relatively simple and the post operative convalescence is easy, the eyelids may not look their best until perhaps 2 months after surgery. Occasionally, adjunctive procedures such as a brow lift may be suggested by the doctor.

A word about financing

Eyelid surgery can be made very affordable through our partners at CareCredit. Visit them at www.carecredit.com. Patty will be happy to answer any of your questions or assist you with the necessary paperwork.

Insurance Notes

Correcting impaired vision may be considered reconstructive. Upper eyelid surgery is sometimes used to repair a medical condition if the pleat of skin is obscuring your sight. Insurance policies vary widely but if there is a legitimate health issue Dr. Watanabe will act within the stipulations of your coverage if possible. Patty will help you with any pre-certification if indicated.


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