There are two types of eyelid surgery. You may have one or both types of surgery. These surgeries can be done on one or both of your eyes.
Surgery for ptosis lifts droopy upper eyelids. Ptosis (say "TOH-sus") is the name for eyelids that droop. The eyelid muscles or tendons do not work as they should. This can affect your vision and your appearance. It can be caused by aging, nerve or muscle problems, eye surgery, or an injury. You can be born with this problem, or you can get it later in life.
The doctor makes a small cut in the crease of your upper eyelid. The cut is called an incision. He or she then lifts the eyelid by tightening the muscle that raises your eyelid. In rare cases, the muscle is too weak to tighten. In that case, the doctor will connect your forehead muscles to your eyelid muscles. After fixing the problem, the doctor stitches up the incision. Minor cases may not need a cut in the skin.
Blepharoplasty (say "BLEF-uh-roh-plass-tee") is surgery to remove baggy, extra tissue on your upper or lower eyelids. In most cases, this extra tissue forms as you age. It may affect your vision. But more often, it affects how you look. This surgery is usually considered cosmetic, or plastic, surgery.
The doctor makes small incisions in the creases of your upper eyelids and just below the lashes of your lower eyelids. The doctor removes extra tissue through the incisions. The doctor then stitches the incisions closed.
During either surgery, you will get medicine so you will not feel pain. You may get medicine that relaxes you or puts you into a light sleep.
Eyelid surgery takes about 1 to 2 hours. You will probably go home on the same day as your surgery. After surgery, you will have tiny scars. These scars will fade over time.
Most people feel ready to go out in public and back to work in about 7 to 10 days. After either surgery, you may be able to see better. You may like how the surgery affects your appearance.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: October 13, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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