Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
The eyes are a prominent facial feature. The lids and surrounding skin help convey emotion. The skin, muscle, fat, eyebrows and lashes all contribute to the wide array of expressions. Unfortunately, wrinkles and deep lines as well as puffiness under the lids develop as you age. In addition, exposure to the sun as well as hereditary factors contribute to the aging process, all resulting in changes of expression. In many cases, people may look fatigued, worn out and older than their true age. Beyond possible visual impairment, these changes in your appearance can cause stress and anxiety. Excessive skin folds can develop in the eyelids due to loss of elasticity of the skin. These folds can interfere with vision by reducing the visual field.
Dr. Reynolds is trained in several surgical procedures, such as blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), forehead lift and brow lift in order to eliminate the majority of these problems.
Before Eyelid Surgery
To better understand your overall health, we will evaluate your medical history prior to surgery. In addition, a complete examination of your eyes and face are made in order to take the most effective surgical approach. The amount, distribution and type of excess skin to be removed are carefully reviewed.
Dr. Reynolds will provide you with pre-operative instructions that include the elimination of smoking and specific drugs containing aspirin before surgery to minimize excess bleeding. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to prevent infection.
Digital photographs and computer imaging is performed in order to plan the surgery and to determine the amount of improvement after surgery.
Initially, drying of the eyes can occur after blepharoplasty. This condition can be alleviated with natural tears eye drops during the day and methycellulose drops at night. If a transconjunctival incision is used then an eye ointment will be prescribed. In addition, you may be sensitive to bright light and wind for a period of time. Numbness and itching may also occur during the healing process. A final evaluation may occur within several months from the initial surgical procedure.
To preview Pre-Operative Instructions, Consent and Post-Operative Instructions along with the scheduled visits, see “Doc’s Orders; Cosmetic Plastic Surgery; Blepharoplasty”.
Dr. Reynolds can perform blepharoplasty to correct sagging eyelids, bags or pouches beneath the eyes, as well as excess folds around the eyes. This surgical procedure involves the removal of excess skin and fat on either the upper and lower eyelids or both and is often performed in conjunction with other surgical procedures including facelifts, eyebrow lift and forehead lifts. Blepharoplasty can be done under general anesthesia or under IV Sedation or even with local anesthesia only. Your choice will depend on your level of comfort with procedures. See anesthetic options.
Dr. Reynolds will trace the natural lines and creases of your face and make fine incisions from the inner to the outer edge of the eyelid. Surgery on the upper eyelid is performed first with the incision made in the fold of the lid. On the lower eyelid the incision is either made directly below the eyelash or inside the lid if only fat is to be removed. (The incision on the inside of the lower lid is called a transconjunctival incision) Excess fat and skin are removed from the underlying compartments. The amount of fat excised is always conservative. Small sutures are used to close the incision and special ointments and dressings may be applied. The surgery can take up to 2 hours. Laser may be used at the same time to reduce wrinkles in the surrounding skin.
Your insurance company may pay for part or all of the cost of surgery if the procedure is performed as a result of visual impairment. If this is anticipated then a pre-operative visual field test must be performed. You will be sent to an ophthalmologist to have this test. The results will be sent with a preauthorization to your insurance with accompanying photographs documenting the impairment. Because every insurance carrier is different, it is recommended that you check with your own insurance company to determine the level of coverage.