Dr. Luis W. Lu is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist, fellowship trained-surgeon in Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery in New York City. Dr. Lu performs surgical procedures such as Eye-Lift, Lid-Lift, Blepharoplasty, Upper Blepharoplasty, Repair of Droopy Eyelids, and Repair of Baggy Eyelids.
What is Dermatochalasis?
Your eyes including your eyelids, are perhaps one of the first things people notice in you. This makes your eye and eyelids one of the most important components for an appealing facial expression and aesthetic appearance. Any visible change in the shape or size of the orbital or periorbital region can spoil the look of your face.
As you age and grow older, your eyelids might possibly become “droopy” or “baggy” due to the stretching of your eyelid skin (Dermatochalasis) and gradually decreasing tone of your eyelid muscles. Your droopy eyelids and brow together cut a sorry figure for your face making you look tired, sleepy and haggard, further leading to eyelids or brow straining or both. In extreme cases, your saggy, baggy eyelids can even obstruct your vision, particularly peripheral vision causing difficulty in reading and driving.
Blepharoplasty is a plastic surgical procedure that is used for correcting defects, deformities, and disfiguration of the eyelids, and more recently, it has been used for achieving aesthetic modification of the periorbital region of the face.
Types of Blepharoplasty
Functional or Reconstructive
This is performed to restore vision by removing excess skin, muscle, and fat which blocks the visual axis. Following are the three essential elements of a Functional Blepharoplasty:
- Patient should have noticeable visual improvement after skin elevation of eyelids
- A visual field test is done to document the loss of the superior field of vision
- Photographs should clearly show upper eyelid skin laying across the eyelashes
The goal is to accentuate the appearance of the eyes as the patient’s request and is not done to improve vision.
Upper Lid Blepharoplasty (“Eye Lift”)
- Incisions made on the outside of the upper eyelids are barely visible and fade over time.
- The excess fat is removed through incisions which are finally closed with are finally closed with fine sutures such that it forms an eyelid crease.
- It assists in the reduction of excess skin and fat in the upper eyelids.
Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty
- Lower eyelid blepharoplasty is almost always done for cosmetic reasons – to improve puffy lower eyelid “bags” or to reduce wrinkling of skin
- This is done either through a skin incision, called trans-cutaneous approach or through the inner aspect of the eyelid, called trans-conjunctival approach
- Incisions made on the inside of the eyelids in the transconjunctival approach are not visible
- Lower eyelid blepharoplasty reduces excess fat from within lower eyelids through incisions which are then closed with fine sutures.
Who is the ideal candidate for surgery?
- Those with puffy upper eyelids looking for an aesthetic upgrade
- Those with old, tired-looking eyes looking for a younger look
- Patients with excess upper eyelid skin obstructing vision
- Patient with healthy mind and body
- Person with realistic expectations of the final outcome
Does insurance pay for Blepharoplasty? What is the difference between Functional and Cosmetic Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty can be both a functional and cosmetic surgical procedure intended to reshape the upper eyelid or lower eyelid by the removal or repositioning of excess tissue as well as reinforcement of surrounded muscles and tendons.
- Eyelids (and your eyes) are, perhaps, what other people notice first.
- Eyelid surgery to improve the appearance of the eyelids is often called “eye-lift” or “blepharoplasty”.
- As we age, your eyelids (both upper and lower) might possibly become “droopy” or “baggy”. The eyelid skin stretches and muscle tone weakens.
- In addition, your eyebrows might possibly also droop.
- Your droopy upper eyelids and droopy brows might possibly give you the appearance of being sleepy, tired, and aging prematurely.
- In addition, this sagging, might possibly lead to brow/eyelid strain.
- Excess skin can hang over the eyelid and interfere with vision.
When an advanced amount of upper eyelid skin is present, the skin might possibly protrude over the eyelashes causing a loss of peripheral vision. The outer and upper parts of the visual field are most commonly affected and the condition might possibly cause difficulty with activities such as driving or reading. In this circumstance, upper eyelid blepharoplasty is performed to improve peripheral vision (FUNCTIONAL BLEPHAROPLASTY).
Patients with less severe amount of excess skin might possibly have a similar procedure performed for COSMETIC reasons.
Lower eyelid blepharoplasty is almost always done for cosmetic reasons.