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When Is Upper Eyelid Surgery Performed for Medical Reasons?

By David Passaretti, MD on July 23, 2016


A woman with heavy upper eyelidsSeverely drooping eyelids are often seen as a cosmetic problem, causing the face to look older and more tired, but they can actually impair vision, making eyelid surgery medically necessary. Eyelid surgery targets drooping eyelids, eliminating sagging tissue and rejuvenating the appearance. For those who suffer from impaired vision due to hanging eyelids, eyelid surgery is highly effective at improving obstructed vision. To find out if you would benefit from upper eyelid surgery for medical reasons, schedule a consultation with Fairfield, CT plastic surgeon David Passaretti.

When Is Eyelid Surgery Necessary for Medical Reasons?

Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is often considered a cosmetic procedure used to reverse the hands of time and produce a rejuvenated appearance, but it may also be performed for medical reasons. When vision is obstructed by drooping eyelids, eyelid surgery is generally the only solution to restore vision.

Eyelid surgery may also be performed for medical reasons when treating a condition called ptosis. Ptosis is a congenital or acquired condition in which one or both of the eyelids droop. When drooping is severe enough to impact vision, eyelid surgery may be medically necessary.

Eyelid Surgery Procedure and Recovery

Eyelid surgery is minimally invasive, leading to a short recovery time. During eyelid surgery, small incisions are made in the upper eyelid. Incisions are made within the natural crease to help hide scarring and excess tissue is removed.

Following surgery, some swelling, bruising, and mild pain may be experienced. Some patients may also have temporarily blurry vision. Swelling and pain can be reduced by applying clean, cold compresses near the eyes and keeping the head elevated during the initial recovery; these side effects should resolve within a week or two.

Candidates for Eyelid Surgery

Candidates for eyelid surgery for medical reasons must suffer from significantly impaired vision as a result of drooping eyelids. Candidates may notice their vision is impaired by drooping eyelids when driving or trying to complete visual tasks, like working on a computer or reading.

In addition to having obstructed vision, candidates for eyelid surgery should be in good general health and free of certain medical conditions, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and hyperthyroidism, as these can cause complications with eyelid surgery. The eyes should also be in good health, free from glaucoma or infection.

The Benefits of Eyelid Surgery

There are many benefits to undergoing eyelid surgery. When sagging eyelids interfere with vision, doing a simple task like reading an email can take longer than needed and lead headaches and eyestrain. Eyelid surgery lifts sagging eyelids, revealing clear, unobstructed vision.

Of course, those who have difficulty seeing due to drooping eyelids benefit from the unobstructed vision provided by eyelid surgery. In addition, this procedure rejuvenates the appearance and creates a rested, refreshed look. Undergoing eyelid surgery can help improve confidence and overall quality of life for those with obstructed vision or those who are unhappy with the appearance of sagging eyelids.

Is Eyelid Surgery Right for You?

Eyelid surgery has helped many patients achieve improved vision and appearance. To find out if eyelid surgery is right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Passaretti.

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