As you age, the thin layer of skin surrounding your eyes can sag, causing an appearance of droopy eyelids. Additionally, the fat surrounding the eyes can contribute to puffiness or bags (isn’t getting older fun?).
At first, it might seem like a simple cosmetic issue. But, when it comes to your eye health, if you have a significant or heavy droop, your vision could be impaired.
What risks come with droopy eyelids?
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s time to speak with a qualified oculoplastic surgeon:
- You’re constantly trying to open your eyes wider
- Heaviness of the brow or eyelids
- Feeling like you need more light to see
- Struggling to see things in your peripheral vision
- Trying to raise your eyebrows to see better
“Droopy eyelids” are more formally known as “ptosis” (pronounced TOH’-sis) while having excess upper eyelid skin is called “dermatochalasis.” An outpatient surgery called blepharoplasty, more commonly known as an eyelid lift, can fix both of these issues. When ptosis or dermatochalasis are symptomatic or affect your vision, it’s likely that insurance will cover the procedure.
What to expect with an eyelid lift?
During an eyelid lift, excess skin, muscle, and fat may be removed or repositioned in the upper or lower eyelid areas. The oculoplastic surgeon uses an advanced laser to remove fat pads, if present.
A blepharoplasty and other common oculoplastic surgeries can be performed in the office, saving the patient an expensive hospital procedure. Most eyelid surgery is performed under a local anesthetic, however, depending on your particular procedure, an oral sedative may be given to help you remain calm and relaxed throughout the surgery.
Blepharoplasty surgeries typically last one to two hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure. Patients should expect to have some swelling and bruising for one to two weeks but can return to most activities very quickly.
Who performs the procedure?
While most ophthalmologists receive training to perform blepharoplasty, an oculoplastic surgeon also receives extensive training in other facial and orbital plastic surgeries. Thus the oculoplastic surgeon, like Christina H. Choe, M.D. with Carolina Ophthalmology, is the preferred choice to perform blepharoplasty.
Dr. Choe is one of 650 oculoplastic surgeons certified by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) and specializes in reconstructive and aesthetic eyelid and facial plastic surgery. Choosing a physician with these qualifications ensures you’ll have a surgeon who is uniquely qualified in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures of the eyelids, eye sockets, and tear drainage system.
Carolina Ophthalmology, P.A. has been serving the people of WNC since 1980. The practice provides general ophthalmology examinations and treats a wide variety of eye conditions, including eyelid problems, glaucoma, retinal disorders, ocular cancers, and more.
To learn more or to schedule a consultation at one of their locations, visit carolinaeyemd.com.