Droopy eyelids can do more than make you look older – they can also impede your field of vision. As we grow older, the delicate skin and the underlying muscles of the eyelids can become stretched out, making it difficult or even impossible to fully open your eyes. Peripheral vision may be negatively impacted by this condition. Any excess skin hanging over your eyes can make it challenging to perform daily tasks.
Droopy eyelids can also be caused by trauma or other medical conditions.
The good news is that droopy eyelids can be corrected with eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty. Dr. Valerie H. Chen is a board-certified ophthalmologist and ophthalmic plastic surgeon at Providence Eye & Laser Specialists who helps patients improve their quality of life through eyelid surgery.
Dr. Chen will perform an eye exam to determine how your eyelids are affecting your vision. This will help her understand the amount of excess skin or fatty tissue that should be removed to improve your visual field or peripheral vision. Your personalized treatment plan will be discussed in detail prior to your procedure.
On the day of your procedure, you will receive either local or general anesthesia as predetermined by Dr. Chen. Your eyes may also be numbed to make the procedure more comfortable for you. The procedure involves these steps:
Your medical history will be reviewed to ensure you are healthy enough for this procedure. Dr. Chen will also need to know all of the medications you are currently taking if any, so she can tell you which ones should be suspended prior to your procedure. Here are some general tips to promote a successful procedure:
You will be provided detailed pre-operative instructions in writing by Dr. Chen and her team prior to your procedure.
You should expect to take it easy for the first few days after your procedure and avoid strenuous activities for at least 1 week. During this time, your eyes may be swollen and appear bruised. You will be advised to apply ice for the first week, but especially during the first 48 hours, as this will help minimize swelling and discomfort. Use a warm compress after that timeframe. You may also take over-the-counter pain medications if needed.
Dr. Chen and her team will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions in writing.
Be patient and allow your eyes to heal! It may take 1-2 weeks for your eyes to fully heal, but most patients are able to return to work and non-strenuous activities within 1 week.
Patients who have eyelid surgery are often amazed at how well they can see after their procedure. As a side benefit, lifting the eyelids can also make you appear more alert and even younger. It can truly be a life-changing, confidence-boosting procedure.