Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a type of surgery that alters the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both. The aim is to improve the appearance of the area surrounding the eyes and to improve vision obscured by drooping eyelids. Blepharoplasty surgery removes excess and sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid due to the effects of aging. In the lower lids, the surgery can also remove excess fatty deposits that appear as puffiness beneath the eyelid skin, bags under the eyes, and droopiness of the lower eyelids. While eyelid surgery can improve the appearance of the upper and lower eyelids, in many cases, upper eyelid surgery can also improve peripheral vision, allow more light to enter the eyes, and improve the eye strain and fatigue that accompanies excess weight due to gravity effects on the lid.
Subjective visual complaints from patients:
- Drooping or closing of the eyes while looking down impairing reading
- Neck strain due to chin-up/backward head tilt to look under drooping lids
- Eye strain or discomfort due to increased effort to raise lids
- Tearing, redness, burning, dryness
- Difficulty with basic activities of daily living, not just driving
Objective visual dysfunction
- Loss of peripheral vision leads to 8% higher risk of falls in persons older than 65
- Average of 30% improvement in peripheral vision after upper eyelid surgery
- Contrast sensitivity improvement similar to the effect of cataract surgery
- Changes in severity of astigmatism
Most medical insurances (including Medicare) have specific severity criteria based on the level of dysfunction to qualify patients for medically necessary eyelid surgery. Oculoplastic surgeons, like Dr. Christine Annunziata at Metrolina Eye Associates, are uniquely qualified to assess your visual impairment and your appropriateness for eyelid surgery. Since eyelid surgery is the most common procedure Dr. Annunziata performs, she has extensive experience working with insurance companies to help secure insurance coverage in appropriate patients. In addition to her experience with functional blepharoplasty, Dr. Annunziata has also performed thousands of cosmetic eyelid surgeries on both the upper and lower eyelids over her career, for cases when a person does not qualify for insurance coverage.
Blepharoplasty surgery is a well-tolerated, low risk outpatient procedure when performed by an experienced surgeon like Dr. Christine Annunziata at Metrolina Eye Associates. Call today for a consultation with Dr. Annunziata to see if you qualify for insurance coverage or if you are a good candidate for eyelid surgery.