Frequently Asked Plastic Surgery Questions
What is the function of the eyelid?
The eyelids protect the eye, spreading tears over the front surface of the cornea and clearing mucus and debris from the tear film.
What is the most commonly performed eyelid surgery?
Blepharoplasty (correction of sagging eyelids) is the most common type of eyelid surgery.
Blepharoplasty (blef’ ah-ro-plas-tee) is a procedure in which excess skin and fat (called dermatochalasis) are removed to eliminate droopy or baggy eyelids. In some patients, eyelid skin can actually cover the eyelashes or block the upper portion of one’s peripheral vision. To correct this condition, the surgeon makes an incision in the eyelid crease, removing unwanted tissue. As the eyelids heal, the outcome is dramatic. The tired expression is replaced by an “alert” look, usually achieved with minimal scarring.
Ptosis (toe-sis) is a condition in which aging eyelid muscles thin and weaken, causing drooping of the entire upper eyelid. This affects the eyelid muscle and is different than dermatochalasis, where only the skin is involved. In many cases part of the pupil is covered, causing loss of some of the upper part of one’s peripheral vision. In severe cases the entire pupil can be blocked, causing inability to see out of the eye. Ptosis repair is performed in a similar manner to upper eyelid blepharoplasty. An eyelid-crease incision is made to identify and strengthen the weakened muscle. Excess skin may also be removed at the same time. After surgery the patient can expect to regain a more symmetric and balanced appearance, as well as improved vision.
Is age the only cause of drooping or sagging eyelids?
Drooping eyelids may occur in people of all ages for a variety of reasons ranging from allergy to kidney disease, but aging and genetic predisposition are the most common causes.
Is this an outpatient surgery?
Yes. Surgery is performed under local anesthesia in our surgery suites in Sarasota and Bradenton.
Does insurance cover this procedure?
Medicare and other insurance companies may or may not cover the cost of eyelid surgery, depending on the degree to which your vision is impaired by your drooping or sagging eyelids. After an examination, your doctor will discuss your particular situation and answer any questions you may have.
How soon after my surgery do I return to my doctor's office for a follow-up visit?
A post-operative visit will be scheduled within one week of your procedure.
This will allow the doctor to monitor your progress and ensure you are healing properly.
What tests are required prior to surgery?
Before surgery we need photographs of your eyelids taken and, in some cases, a visual field test is needed to assess whether a sagging or drooping eyelid is affecting your vision.
When do I pay for my surgery?
Fees for elective surgery are paid in full before the surgery date. If the procedure is not considered cosmetic, we will file the claim to your insurance company. You will be responsible for any co-payment or deductibles. You will receive a bill for any costs not covered by your insurance.
Are there any additional fees required later on?
No. Your initial fee is comprehensive and therefore covers all visits for 90 days following your surgery.