Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure to repair excessive skin and “swelling” eyelids. It is becoming one of the most common elective surgeries performed. The apparent swelling is usually a natural result of the aging process or, less frequently, a result of a disease state that causes the muscles around the eyes to degenerate. Regardless of the cause, the face and especially the eyes are considered key to a person’s appearance. The desire to correct the cosmetically bothersome condition is very common.
The surgeon will first take pictures of your eyes, and will probably ask for pictures of you taken before the condition was present. A thorough history and physical exam to determine health status before the surgery will be taken. Sometimes only the skin is removed; at other times fat tissue is removed as well.
Certain conditions can make the procedure more risky, such as thyroid disease, dry eye syndrome, diabetes, heart disease including high blood pressure and certainly any eye disorders (cataracts, glaucoma). An ophthalmic exam will also be necessary to detect any eye disorders, and to measure vision and eye movement before the surgery.
Sagging or drooping of the upper eyelids is called Ptosis (toe sis). The sags and droops are usually a natural result of the aging process. However, certain disease states such as diabetes and high blood pressure can affect the blood or nerve supply to the eye muscles and cause the nerves around the eyes to degenerate. Another less-common cause is nerve damage following eye surgery. Congenital ptosis is an eyelid problem present at birth. Regardless of the cause, the face, and especially the eyes, are considered key to a person’s appearance. The desire to correct the lack of muscle tone around the eyes is very common.
Ptosis can affect vision regardless of age or cause of the condition. The drooping eyelid may partially or completely cover the pupil resulting in blurry or double vision. In worst cases, it can totally restrict vision.