Eyelids are one of the biggest problem areas for many people. As we age, our eyelids sag and become one of the most obvious indicators of our ages. In 2012, over 200,000 Americans had eyelid lifts, making it one of the most popular cosmetic procedures available. According to a recent ABC News article, the surgery has benefits beyond the cosmetic.
Eyelid lifts, professionally known as blepharoplasties, are often conducted for medical reasons. When the upper eyelid begins to sag, a person’s peripheral vision can become impaired. This is not only frustrating for the individual, but it also can become a safety issue when a person gets behind the wheel or when they operate machinery.
One difference between undergoing a blepharoplasty for medical reasons and for cosmetic ones is that Medicare will often pay for those that are medically necessary. According to Medicare guidelines, eyelid lifts becomes medically necessary if the patient’s eyelid sagging causes difficulty reading, headaches from straining to lift their eyebrows or injuries caused by impaired peripheral vision.
These functional blepharoplasties are most often needed by people in their 70s and 80s. Many older men and women report that they can barely open their eyes at the end of the day, not because they are tired but because their eyelids are too heavy and they’ve grown sore from keeping them open all day.
Whether a blepharoplasty is done for cosmetic reasons or for medical ones, the operation is the same. A cosmetic surgeon will remove excess fat, muscle and skin that have gathered around the eyelid, sometimes on both the upper and lower lids. They do so by making small incisions in inconspicuous places around the eyelids. They also use dissolvable stitches that lessen the chances of leaving a scar. Although the primary goal of any eyelid lift is to fix eyelid sag, many patients also notice reduced puffiness and less noticeable bags under their eyelids.
The procedure leaves patients looking younger, rested and more alert. Dropping eyelids are common among both men and women, making it one of the top procedures that are enjoyed by both sexes. It is also frequently combined with brow lifts and face lifts. Combining these treatments provides the patient with a more dramatic and long-lasting effect that can take years off of the face.
It is common to have questions when you consider any type of surgery. We urge you to contact us and schedule a consultation with our resident cosmetic surgeon, Dr. John Freeman. Dr. Freeman earned his medical degree from Vanderbilt University and has since gained experience and training that you can rely on. To schedule a consultation, please call 281-599-9445.