Is Upper or Lower Blepharoplasty Right for You?

During the aging process, your skin naturally loses its elasticity and begins to sag. At the same time, our eyelids stretch, and the muscles that support the lids become progressively weaker. This causes excess fat to gather below and above the eyelids, which results in drooping upper lids, bags beneath the eyes, and sagging eyebrows. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty for those unaware, repairs drooping eyelids. This procedure can be performed on the upper, lower, or both eyelids. In addition to tightening the skin, the surgery may also include the removal of excess fat and muscle that’s contributing to the drooping lids.

Sagging eyelids are a sign of aging, so they give your face an older and more tired appearance. There can also be medical consequences in the process. Depending on the severity of the sagging, you might experience a reduction in your peripheral vision, particularly in the outer and upper portions of your vision. Allan Wulc MD, a surgeon who specializes in blepharoplasty surgery in Philadelphia, digs deeper into why this type of operation can be beneficial for a magnitude of reasons. With such treatment, problems are eliminated and your field of vision is restored.

Reasons We Get Eyelid Surgery

Blepharoplasty can be undergone as a cosmetic or medical procedure. If you aren’t able to open your eyes fully, or you’re experiencing a reduction in your vision, you may be a good candidate. You may also be a good candidate if the appearance of your eyes and skin causes you distress, even if you haven’t had any medical issues. When you have blepharoplasty done on the upper and lower lid, your eyes will appear more youthful and alert. No more looking like you’re nodding off in meetings!

Upper lid blepharoplasty may be done for medical or cosmetic reasons. Lower lid blepharoplasty, however, is nearly always done for cosmetic purposes alone. It’s rare for sagging of the lower lid to interfere with vision or have other medical consequences.

Individuals might be candidates for a blepharoplasty procedure if:

● Their upper eyelids are baggy or drooping
● Their upper eyelids have enough excess skin to interfere with peripheral and upper vision
● Their lower eyelids have excess skin
● They have puffy permanent bags under their eyes

Some people opt to get a blepharoplasty done during other cosmetic procedures, like a facelift or brow lift.

Sometimes a blepharoplasty will be covered by health insurance. If the procedure is done to help improve your vision, your insurance policy may cover it. However, most health insurance policies don’t cover surgeries that are undergone for cosmetic purposes alone.

How to Choose Between Upper and Lower Blepharoplasty

Blepharoplasty surgery can be performed on your upper eyelid, lower eyelid, or both. Many people opt to have both eyelids operated on. If you’re considering the procedure, you’ll need to consult with a plastic surgeon.

An upper lid blepharoplasty can correct the following issues:

● Eyelid skin that sags severely enough to affect your peripheral visio
● Eyelids that sag nearly to the pupil because of weak eyebrow muscles
● Loose skin and muscle on the upper eyelid
● Heavy-lidded and droopy facial appearances

Upper lid blepharoplasty may be performed for either medical or cosmetic purposes. If your skin interferes with your vision, the surgery has a medical basis.

A lower lid blepharoplasty, on the other hand, can correct these issues:

● Puffy spots underneath the eyes
● Shadows and bags that make you look tired despite getting enough sleep
● Uneven and sagging skin below the eyes
● Uneven cheek surfaces due to fat deposits below the eyes

This procedure tends to be performed for cosmetic purposes exclusively, rather than medical ones.

Consulting on the Procedure

Before a date is scheduled for the surgery, you’ll need to have a consultation with a few specialists. In some cases, you might talk with an oculoplastic surgeon, which is a plastic surgeon that specializes in eye surgeries. In other cases, you may consult with an ophthalmologist and plastic surgeon simultaneously.

You’ll need to detail your personal medical history so any underlying medical conditions can be addressed or ruled out. Your surgeon will ask about any prior cosmetic or medical surgeries that you’ve undergone, as well as any past conditions you’ve been treated for. They’ll ask if you have any current or past eye conditions like glaucoma or dry eyes. You’ll also be asked about any history of diabetes, cardiovascular issues, or thyroid problems.

Also, part of the medical history will be informed about any medications you take or have taken in the past. If you have medication allergies, you’ll need to inform your surgeon. In addition to prescription medications, you’ll need to detail any over-the-counter pain relievers, vitamins, and herbal supplements you take. Depending on the substance, you may need to stop taking it a few days or weeks before the surgery.

Finally, you’ll talk to your surgeon about your expectations. You can explain why you want to have the surgery and what you’re hoping to gain from it. Your surgeon can give you an honest evaluation of whether they believe those results can be achieved.

Thanks to Lee Lija

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