With over 200,000 surgeries performed, eyelid surgery ranked in the top five cosmetic surgical procedures in 2018. Among adults age 55 and over, eyelid surgery topped the list of cosmetic surgery procedures according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The area around your eyes may change as we age and sometimes these changes can inhibit your vision. Dr. Stewart Shofner explains the different types of eyelid surgeries and how some health insurance may cover all or some of the surgery costs.
Eyelid surgery, in general improves the general appearance of the eye area, including a reduction of puffiness or drooping related to aging and/or heredity. All eyelid surgeries are performed on the lids or surrounding tissues, not the eyes themselves.
Eyelid surgery is typically performed by a cosmetic plastic surgeon or by an oculoplastic surgeon. An oculoplastic surgeon is an ophthalmologist who specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery of eyelids, eyebrows and other parts of the face.
Blepharoplasty – This is the most frequently performed type of cosmetic eye surgery, can be performed on the upper lids, lower lids or both. Blepharoplasty can restore the function and form of the eyelids. Dr. Stewart Shofner can address both cosmetic and medical concerns associated with sagging excess skin or drooping eyelid muscles for the upper eyelid. This procedure removes or repositions fat to reduce puffiness in addition to trimming excess skin away. During an upper eyelid blepharoplasty, the excess skin that can hang over lashes is removed.
This procedure may improve vision obstructions due to the eyelids intruding on the field of vision as well as providing significant aesthetic improvements including:
• Eliminating excess skin (sagging eyelids)
• Eliminating fat (“bags” above the eye)
• Lifting drooping eyelid muscles
Ptosis Repair - Ptosis (TOE-sis) refers to drooping of an upper eyelid of one or both eyes. Ptosis can affect both children and adults, but usually occurs because of aging. Surgery usually is the best treatment for drooping eyelids. This procedure involves lifting the upper eyelids by tightening the levator muscles that can weaken with age. During the external approach, the surgeon can also trim away excess fat and skin. The ptosis can be repaired internally with no incision over the eyelid.
Ectropion Repair - When the lower eyelid droops down and turns outward, it is called ectropion. This can happen due to age, skin disease, a tumor, trauma, or a burn to the eyelid. Ectropion can make your eyes dry, watery and sensitive to light and wind. If the lower eyelid turns in toward the eyeball it is called entropion. This condition can develop due to age, infection, or scarring inside the eyelid. When the eyelid turns inward, your eyelashes and skin may rub against the eye. This can make your eye red, watery and very irritated. If it is not treated, entropion may also lead to an infection on your cornea (the clear dome-shaped window at the front of the eye).
What are the Risks?
As with any surgery, eyelid procedures carry a certain amount of risk. Risks related to eyelid surgery include anaesthesia issues, infection, pain that may persist, swelling, bruising and bleeding from incisions. Eyes may become dry and sensitive to the sun and other bright light.
Is Eye Lid Surgery Covered by Insurance?
Some eyelid surgeries are covered by insurance but you must first undergo visual field testing by a vision professional and meet certain criteria. If your employer offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or health Savings Account (HAS), you can apply those funds to cover all or part of your eyelid surgery.
Your eye doctor will discuss treatment options for your droopy eyelids as well as any other vision concerns. Dr. Shofner performs blepharoplasty procedure for upper eyelids for his patients, as well as administering injectables like BOTOX® Cosmetic with exceptional precision. Contact Shofner Vision Center online or call (615) 340-4733 to schedule an appointment.