Eyelid Surgery Can Repair Bagginess, Improve Sight

Written by Dr. Angie Song, MD on in Health & Wellness

As people say, “The eyes are the window to our soul.” However, what happens when that window looks a little aged or tired appearing?

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As people say, “The eyes are the window to our soul.” However, what happens when that window looks a little aged or tired appearing?

As we age, the skin around our eyes can become saggy or puffy. However, there are ways to help eliminate these problems.

Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin, muscle, and fat from the upper or lower eyelids. The term comes from the Greek word blepharon, meaning eyelid, and plassein, or ‘to form.’

During this surgery, the underlying fatty tissue that produces bagginess can be selectively removed or repositioned. In doing so, blepharoplasty can improve drooping skin and bagginess. Because the surgery can elevate the upper eyelid slightly, this may also help improve vision in patients who have excessive skin, a condition known as hooding.

This type of surgery is also becoming increasingly popular with people of Asian descent, as the operation adds an upper eyelid crease in some eyelids with a poorly defined crease. There are some aesthetic facial issues that this surgery will not correct, however. Blepharoplasty will not remove “crow’s feet” near the eyes, or other wrinkles. It will not eliminate dark circles under the eyes or lift sagging eyebrows.

Blepharoplasty procedures, as with other procedures, are customized to each patient, depending on his or her particular needs. It can be performed alone involving just the uppers, lowers, or both regions. It can also be performed with other surgical procedures, such as a brow-lift, facelift, or neck lift.

For most patients, the post-surgical recovery is relatively quick, especially for those having only the upper eyelid surgery. Most people will not need to cover their eyes after the surgery, but your physician may suggest the application of ointment to prevent dryness around the eye area. There will be some swelling and bruising, but cold compresses and head elevation while lying down will aid in the healing process.

The recommended amount of time off work is seven days, although most patients if their employment allows, may work from home about 72 hours after surgery. Sutures are removed 5-6 days after the procedure. For female patients, makeup application can occur after that time.

Blepharoplasty is the one procedure that truly refreshes one’s general appearance and makes a significant impact in allowing one to feel and look rejuvenated and confident. Because this type of surgery is often considered purely cosmetic, it’s essential to check with your insurance coverage. Some insurance contracts will allow coverage of surgery to correct or improve vision, or to repair eye deformity or injury.

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Author: Dr. Angie Song, MD, Otolaryngologist

Dr. Song is an otolaryngologist, treating patients with complications, diseases, and disorders of the head and neck – including the ears, nose, and throat (ENT). A veteran of the U.S. Army, she earned her medical degree at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in 1993. She completed her residency at Madigan Healthcare System and Fitzsimons Army Medical Center. She retired from the Army as a Major.

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