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Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery is performed for three predominant reasons: vision obstruction, abnormal growth removal and youthful appearance.

Children who have an upper eyelid that droops like a curtain have a condition called ptosis (toe-sis). The droop may be so pronounced that it obscures the child’s vision. Less pronounced ptosis may not appear to be a serious problem, however, vision complications associated with ptosis can be serious.

A drooping upper eyelid can cause occasional blurry visual images because of astigmatism from distortion of the cornea which is the transparent tissue in the front of the eye. Astigmatism frequently causes lazy eye (amblyopia). If amblyopia is not successfully treated in early childhood, the condition can lead to permanent vision loss later in life.

Vision obscured by a drooping eyelid is treated by surgery. The eye surgeon adjusts the levator (eyelid-lifting) muscle to properly position the upper eyelid. If the child’s levator muscle is unusually weak, the surgeon may incorporate a forehead muscle to restore strength and a normal appearance.

Adults may also be diagnosed with ptosis which is usually caused by an injury or aging change. The condition is corrected in the same way –surgical adjustment of the musculature.

As adults age, facial and eyelid skin and muscles become weak over time. Add sunshine, genetics, gravity and the accumulation of fat cells under the eyelids to the equation and you have lower eyelid sag in addition to upper eyelid droop. This dual condition can be reversed with a procedure commonly called an eyelid lift. The medical term is blepharoplasty.

This surgical procedure removes excessive, bulging fat cells and tightens the skin around the eyes.To accomplish this, an incision is made in the natural fold of the upper eyelid. For lower lid reconstruction, an incision is made near the lash line. If excess fat is being removed, an incision is made on the inside of the lower eyelid. Once healed, all of these incision lines are imperceptible.

Upper eyelid blepharoplasty is covered by Medicare and many insurance companies if an eyelid impairs vision.

Eyelid surgery is also performed to remove abnormal growths. Successful removal of cancerous tissue around the eye coupled with restoration of the eyelid to its natural shape is a specialty within ophthalmology.

To determine if the suspect tissue is malignant (cancerous), a small sample is surgically removed by an ophthalmologist and given to a pathologist for evaluation. This procedure is termed a biopsy.

If malignancy is reported, the tumor is surgically removed. If a pathologist reports an abnormal growth as benign (non-cancerous), surgical removal may still be the best treatment option. Excision of abnormal growths when they are small fosters superior eyelid reconstruction results.Delayed diagnoses of eyelid tumors or abnormal tissue around the eye frequently results in major reconstructive surgery.

Early stage cancer removal and optimum tissue restoration outcomes are essential reasons to see an ophthalmologist if you have a skin color change around the eye or a bump that does not disappear.

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This content does not constitute health advice or establish a doctor-patient relationship.