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1. What is functional upper eyelid blepharoplasty? 

As one ages, the upper eyelid skin can become redundant and drape over the eyelashes and the pupil, thus blocking vision and interfering with daily activities, such as driving and reading.  The medical term for this condition is called dermatochalasis. Common symptoms of dermatochalasis include a decrease in peripheral vision, headaches from prolonged raising of the forehead and eyebrows, and the constant use of one’s fingers to lift the eyelid skin to help see. Functional upper eyelid blepharoplasty involves the surgical removal of the redundant upper eyelid skin that blocks the field of vision.  It aims to expand one’s field of vision and to relieve the symptoms associated with dermatochalasis. 


2. What does functional upper eyelid surgery entail and what type of anesthesia is used?

Upper eyelid blepharoplasty is typically performed in the operating room using minimal sedation and local injections of anesthetics.  Before the procedure, Dr. Abboud will mark the eyelid crease and carefully measure and outline the amount of skin to be removed. After injecting local anesthetics, he will then use a fine scalpel and electrocautery to precisely remove the redundant skin. He will remove just enough skin to lift the skin shrouding your eyes but not too much to an extent that eyelid closure (and thus the eye) is compromised. After ensuring symmetry between both eyes, he will then close the skin with sutures.


3. Are there any risks to upper eyelid surgery?

Upper eyelid surgery, like any surgery, has risks.  Minor side effects associated with blepharoplasty include temporary blurry or double vision, temporary swelling or bruising, and tiny bumps along the incision. These, however, are part of the normal healing process after surgery and are often temporary as they typically resolve on their own. More serious risks include asymmetry, dry eyes, or difficulty closing the eyes. However, the more qualified and experienced your doctor is in eyelid surgery, the lower that risk. Permanent blindness and double vision are exceedingly uncommon and rarely do they happen in experienced hands. During your consultation, Dr. Abboud will thoroughly go over the risks of the surgery, particularly those pertaining to your procedure.  


4. Will I be able to see after surgery?

Following your blepharoplasty, your vision may be temporarily blurry due to minor corneal swelling and the use of eye lubricants that we provide. However, your vision will recover fully in a few days. There will be no patches that will completely cover your eyes following surgery.


5. What is the recovery like for upper eyelid surgery?

The recovery process is usually not extensive. There may be some swelling and bruising, but most people do not experience much pain. Application of ice packs and elevating your head can help reduce swelling and speed up recovery. While light activity and refraining from heavy lifting are recommended for 2 weeks following surgery, most patients may be able to return to work only a few days after surgery.  


6. Are results of upper eyelid blepharoplasty permanent?

The results of upper eyelid blepharoplasty are designed to be long-lasting. Nevertheless, over time, the elasticity of your skin and the quality of your underlying facial muscles will continue to change in response to aging and other environmental factors. Dr. Abboud recommends that patients protect the skin surrounding their eyes with routine moisturizing and sun protection in order to maintain the results of their eyelid surgery as long as possible.


7. Will my health insurance cover upper eyelid blepharoplasty?

Your health insurance will likely cover a major portion of the cost of upper eyelid blepharoplasty if it is performed for functional (or reconstructive) reasons.  To determine if blepharoplasty is functional, certain guidelines have to be met: 1) external ophthalmic photography (i.e., frontal and side view photographs of the eyelids and eyes) must clearly demonstrate significant eyelid droop (or dermatochalasis) with excessive skin falling within 2 mm of the center of the pupil, 2) a documented clinical examination by a physician documenting the position of the eyelids and the patient’s complaint of the upper eyelids interfering with activities of daily living, such as driving, reading, etc., and 3) a documented improvement in the field of vision with the eyelid skin held up (usually with tape) as compared to when the eyelids are in their natural position. 



If you are considering functional upper eyelid surgery and would like to have an in-person consultation with Dr. Abboud, please contact us to schedule an appointment and learn more. 

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Each individual’s treatment and/or results will vary, and no guarantee is stated or implied by any photo or statement used on this website.

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