If your peripheral vision is beginning to blur, you might want to consider blepharoplasty. Blepharoplasty refers to eyelid surgery that helps lift the eyelids giving you a more youthful appearance. The procedure can correct excessive drooping in either the upper or lower eyelids or both the upper and lower lids. The surgery is often performed along with other cosmetic surgery procedures such as a brow lift or facelift.
A blepharoplasty can last up to 10 years, but as you continue to age, your eyelids continue to droop. Doctors warn their patients that eyelid surgery isn’t always a permanent fix and you may want to repeat the procedure in the future. This type of surgery is generally performed on an outpatient basis, under local or general anesthesia, and lasts anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour or more.
Droopy eyelids can interfere with your peripheral vision. Advanced stages of eyelid droop that affect your vision make the procedure more of a necessity, and not a cosmetic surgery option. Many insurance companies consider blepharoplasty a medical necessity when there is a noticed visual impairment associated with the drooping eyelids.
A eyecare specialist, such as a Doctor of Ophthalmology, can give you a comprehensive eye exam and decide if you need eyelid surgery to correct your side vision problems. Your eye doctor may even be able to help you fill out paperwork and submit a claim to your insurance company should he determine the eyelid surgery is a medical necessity. The ophthalmologist will take photographs of your eyes for submission to the insurance provider to prove you need functional, rather than cosmetic, blepharoplasty.
Risks Associated with Eye Surgery
Smokers are at risk for developing surgical complications as they heal more slowly. Anyone with a serious medical condition, such as heart disease or diabetes, may not be able to undergo the procedure. Prior to scheduling your surgery, your doctor will give you a complete physical exam and take your medical history to decide if you make a good surgical candidate.
Possible side effects associated with eye surgery include:
- Dry eyes
- Temporary eyelid numbness
- Temporary vision changes
- Temporary light sensitivity
Eye Doctors vs Plastic Surgeons
Plastic surgeons aren’t the only doctors qualified to perform blepharoplasty, many ophthalmologists are also trained to do the procedure. Oculoplastic surgeons are ophthalmologists specializing in reconstructive surgery of the eye area. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons along with ear, nose and throat surgeons also perform blepharoplasty and other eyelid surgeries.
Blepharoplasty surgery removes excess skin and fatty tissue in the eye area. Your plastic surgeon or eye doctor makes small incisions along the natural folds of the eyelid. If the surgery is being done for cosmetic reasons, your plastic surgeon may perform laser resurfacing to enhance your results, specifically on the outer, lower eyelid area.
You will experience swelling and bruising for a few weeks after this procedure, while the time to heal completely can take up to several months. Your doctor will instruct you to wear sunglasses and sunscreen before going outside, but you should be able to return to work within two weeks. Any discomfort you experience as a result of the surgery can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain medication and cold compresses.