Eyelid surgery is a very common procedure. However, if it is something you have been advised to consider by your eye doctor, you will naturally wish to have many questions answered before you commit to the procedure.
Here are answers to several of the most frequently asked questions relating to the process, benefits, safety and recovery associated with eyelid surgery.
1. Why do people get upper eyelid surgery?
There are two main reasons people get eyelid surgery.
The first is as a medical procedure. Drooping eyelids may be so severe a problem they begin to affect a person’s vision. In this case, there is a need for eyelid surgery for better vision. The procedure can lift the eyelid out of the patient’s field of vision. It will also relieve the discomfort caused by straining forehead muscles or tilting the head back in an attempt to see better.
The second reason people have for getting eyelid surgery is as a cosmetic procedure. Drooping eyelids can make people feel as if they appear older, or more tired than they are. When patients find their drooping eyelids are beginning to affect their confidence, they often approach an eye clinic for surgery.
Note that there may be other reasons to have surgery on the eyelids, including eye injuries or irritation from folds of skin rubbing together.
2. What causes drooping eyelids?
Drooping eyelids are generally experienced by older people and only rarely by children and younger people. This is because the condition is usually associated with aging. Over the course of a lifetime, it is completely natural for skin to lose its elasticity. It is also normal that this may be a faster process for some than others.
The skin on the upper eyelid will droop as it loses its elasticity. This is an unfortunate effect of gravity. Eventually, the skin may droop so much that it begins to hang over the upper eyelashes and prevent full vision. The eyelid may eventually cover the pupil if left untreated. Eye doctors call this condition ptosis.
Ptosis can be exacerbated by fatty tissues. These tissues are naturally present and form a cushion between the skull and the eyeball. However, the thin membrane that holds them in the correct position can also weaken with age. This causes the upper eyelid to bulge and hang even more.
Other possible causes
You should note that the aging process is not the only cause of drooping eyelids. For this reason, you must always consult an eye doctor to determine the reason for drooping eyelids. There are more rare causes, including:
- Connective tissue diseases and muscle disorders
- Congenital ptosis (present at birth)
- An aftereffect of other types of eye surgery
- Neurological disorders
- Systemic diseases, such as diabetes.
3. Is surgery the only way of treating droopy eyelids?
You may find suggestions, mainly online, for home remedies and exercises to improve the condition. However, these will have very minimal to no effect on even mild cases of ptosis. Please consult your doctor rather than attempt any potentially dangerous DIY treatment.
Surgery is widely accepted as the best treatment for droopy eyelids. For advanced cases where ptosis is already blocking a person’s vision, it is the only solution.
4. Are the results permanent?
Eyelid surgery can make a very significant difference in the short term, both cosmetically and medically. However, it is worth considering that the aging process will continue despite surgery. Many surgeons advise that cosmetic blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) results may last 5-7 years before the eyelids appear droopy again.
If your surgery is performed to remedy vision problems associated with ptosis, then your eye doctor will be able to advise how long results are likely to last. This may depend on your reasons for surgery and the severity of your ptosis.
5. What does eyelid surgery involve?
When eyelid surgery is performed for cosmetic reasons, it will typically only involve the removal of excess tissue. Under local anesthesia, the surgeon will make incisions in the natural lines of your eyelids. Through these, from here will remove excess skin and fat, and sometimes muscle if needed. They will close the incision with sutures.
For more severe cases of ptosis, a surgeon will need to work on the muscles in the upper eyelid area. The levator muscles can often be tightened to be more effective at lifting the eyelid. In very severe cases where this is not sufficient, surgeons can attach the eyelid to the eyebrow so that the upper eyelid is lifted by the forehead muscles.
6. Are there any risks associated with eyelid surgery?
Like all surgical procedures, there are some risks. These may include risks associated with the use of anesthesia and postoperative infections. Your surgeon will discuss these risks in detail with you. You will need to give a full medical history for your surgeon to determine the safety of the procedure in your particular case. However, it is a relatively minor procedure, so it is suitable for most people to undergo.
There are some unique risks to eyelid surgery. However, these are rare. For example, there is a small chance that eyelids may not appear symmetrical post-surgery. It is possible that muscle movement in the area may be inhibited slightly. Occasionally, dry eye problems occur after surgery due to shortage of skin postop to allow complete closure of the eyelids for blinking and sleep.
7. Where can I get eyelid surgery?
Now that you understand more about the causes of drooping eyelids and the negative impact they can have on your vision, you may be interested in finding out more about your surgical options for better vision.
You will need to approach an eye clinic, like Gulf Eye Center in Dubai, and ask to discuss your individual case with an eye doctor. Their knowledge and experience mean they can guide you through the best plan for your particular case of ptosis. If surgery is likely to be the best option, they will ensure you understand the risks and benefits of the procedure. This way you can make a fully informed decision about whether eyelid surgery is right for you.