Sometimes, even after a great night's sleep, it can be hard to feel alive and vibrant when you see those tired, drooping eyes looking back at you from the mirror. The loose skin over your eyes and the fat bags under your eyes make you look more tired and older than you feel inside.

If this sounds familiar, you're not alone. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is performed by Dr. Robert Dryden for patients throughout Arizona to correct sagging eyelids with extra or stretched skin, remove fatty pouches beneath the eyes and remove the excess skin from the upper eyelids. Dr. Dryden has developed a national reputation for complicated eyelid problems and has a very special interest in this area.  Another common problem often confused with the excess skin problem treated with an upper eyelid blepharoplasty is actual drooping of the upper eyelid (bllepharoptosis).  This problem with ptosis of the eyelid is very common and is treated with a blepharoptosis procedure very frequently.

Blepharoplasty can be done alone or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a blepharoptosis repair, facelift, a brow lift or laser skin resurfacing.

Your eyelid surgery consultation

During your initial cosmetic consultation, your doctor will discuss your particular condition, your expectations, and the probable outcome of treatment. You will be shown several before and after treatment photographs of patients having similar conditions, and you will receive an explanation of your treatment. Before and after photos may be taken of the area to be treated to document your results.

The eyelid surgery procedure

Blepharoplastyd and blepharoptosis repair can be performed in your doctor's office, an outpatient surgical facility or a hospital. It is generally performed under local anesthesia, but blepharoplasty can be performed under general anesthesia.  Blepharoptosis repair generally needs the patient awake to cooperate in order to achieve the best symmetry. The surgeon places fine incisions in the crease above each eye to correct problems of the upper eyelids. Then a thin crescent of excess skin and muscle is removed. If blepharoptosis repair is being performed, the surgery  is carried more deeply into the eyelid to alter the relationshiip between the lifting muscle and the lower eyelid.  The incisions are closed with very fine sutures.

To remove the fatty deposits beneath the eyes, the incisions are placed just inside the lower eyelid or just beneath the eyelashes on the outside of the eyelid. After the fat is removed, the incisions may be closed with absorbable sutures or may be left to heal naturally if performed on the inside.  The more common external approach needed when there is excess lower eyelid skin requires sutures to be placed and removed at about one week. When excess skin and muscle needs to be removed from the lower lids, the incisions are placed in a small groove immediately below the lashline as mentioned above. The procedure can take between 1 - 2 hours, depending on the extent of the surgery.

What about insurance for eyelid surgery?

Eyelid problems are common, even in younger people. Correcting eyelid problems that interfere with your vision may be covered by your health insurance with documentation with side vision testing and photographs. However, when eyelid surgery is performed for cosmetic reasons, it may not be covered in part or in whole by your health insurance. It is the patient's responsibility to check with their insurance provider for the information on the degree of coverage. We will be happy to answer any questions.

What about recovery for eyelid surgery?

When Dr. Dryden performs your eyelid surgery alone, and not with a facelift, it is generally done under local anesthesia. After the surgery, the area around your eye will be bruised and swollen for about 2 weeks. Patients should keep their heads up and place cold compresses on their eyes as much as possible for the first 48 hours.  Heat subsequently will decrease the swelling more quickly. Antibiotic eye drops or ointment may be prescribed. Patients can't wear contact lenses for about 2 weeks, since the eyelids may be stiff and sore. Make-up may be worn after about 10 days. The resulting hairline scars which follow the natural contour of the eyelids tend to fade in about 2 months.

After cosmetic surgery, our patients have a softer, more youthful look to their faces. Many seem to have a new spring in their step after facing their fresher reflections in the mirror.

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