Cosmetic eye surgery has long been a popular treatment for people with a droopy eyelid. Also known as blepharoptosis, this condition occurs when the skin loses its elasticity, usually due to aging. At St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute in Largo, Florida, our laser eye surgery techniques have improved the appearance of numerous patients while expanding their field of vision. Through our meticulous surgical process, we can effectively lift drooping eyelids, reduce puffiness in the upper and lower lids, and remove excess skin. If you’re a resident of the Tampa Bay area considering droopy eyelid surgery, read on to learn how we can help you look younger and more vibrant.
How Is Eyelid Surgery Performed?
Surgical treatment for a droopy eyelid is called a blepharoplasty. For most adult patients, it is an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia. This allows the surgeon to adjust the position of your eyelids while your eyes are open. During the procedure, your surgeon will create a small incision in the fold of the upper eyelid and trim away excess skin. As the incision is closed, your eyelid will be tightened and smoothed.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery
After your blepharoplasty, your doctor may recommend that you take two full weeks off from work. For the first few days of recovery, you should rest and apply cold packs to the eye area to reduce swelling. Also, you should sleep on your back with your head elevated. After about a week, your stitches will be removed, with swelling subsiding within seven to ten days. Your doctor will likely advise you to strictly limit the amount of time you watch television or use a computer, and always wear sunglasses when going outside. After two weeks, you will be able to resume your usual activities. And at six weeks, you can expect to see the desired results of your cosmetic eye surgery.
Ectropion – Inner Eyelid is Exposed
Ectropion is an eye issue where the eyelid turns outward and exposes the inner tissues. The inner part of the eyelid contains a puncta (drain) that removes tears once the eyeball is adequately lubricated. With ectropion, the eyelid is partially or wholly pulled away from the eyeball, interfering with tear distribution and drainage. Older adults are more prone to this eye problem in the lower eyelid, which may cause irritation and sensitivity.
Symptoms of ectropion include:
- Dry, gritty feeling
- Watery eyes
- Pooling of tears
- Sandy sensation
- Light sensitivity
This eyelid problem often happens due to muscle weakness caused by old age. Stretched tendons and muscles cause the eyelid to droop. Medical conditions, previous eyelid surgery, scars and trauma (dog bites, burns and other injuries) can also cause the eyelid skin to pull away from the eye. Ectropion may be a cosmetic or medical issue as it can lead to cornea abrasions and ulcers due to the exposed inner lining of the eyelid.
Ectropian Treatment Options
Artificial tears and lubricating ointments can alleviate the symptoms of ectropion, but eye surgery can correct the drooping. Our eye surgeons will tighten the muscles and tendons and remove some of the eyelid skin to restore the function and appearance of your eyelid. A skin graft using tissue from the upper eyelid or behind your ear may improve the placement of the lower lid.
Entropion — Eyelid Turns Inward
Entropion causes the opposite problem of ectropion. The eyelid turns inward, causing the skin and eyelashes to rub and irritate the surface of the eye. Entropion may be constant or only occur when you blink or squeeze your eyes shut. Older adults are most likely to struggle with this eye concern that often occurs with the lower eyelid. While artificial tears or lubricating ointments can ease the discomfort, surgical treatment is necessary to prevent infection, vision loss and cornea damage.
Symptoms of entropion include:
- Redness or irritation
- Eye pain
- Feeling that something is in your eye
- Crusty eyelid
- Eyelid discharge
- Excessive tearing
- Sensitivity to light and wind
Decreasing vision or worsening redness and eye pain can be warning signs of a cornea injury and should be addressed as soon as possible by an Ophthalmologist. Spastic entropion occurs when muscle spasms make the edge of the eyelid turn inward and press against the cornea. Like ectropion, entropion is common in older adults with weakened muscles and tendons. The condition can be caused by eye trauma such as chemical burns, previous eyelid surgery, infection of the inner eyelid and inflammation from rubbing and squeezing eyes.
Entropian Treatment Options
BOTOX treatments can turn the eyelid outward, and soft contact lenses can protect the cornea, but eyelid surgery is the only way to correct entropion. Our eye surgeons remove a portion of the lower eyelid to tighten the muscles and tendons and strategically place stitches below the eyelid and in the outside corner so the scar tissue keeps the eyelid in position.
Eyelid Skin Cancer
The skin in the upper and lower eyelids is particularly vulnerable to UV damage from sun exposure. This sensitive area is often avoided when you apply sunscreen, but UV-blocking sunglasses can protect the thin skin surrounding your eyes. Nonmelanoma skin cancers are common in the eyelids, including basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. The warning signs of eyelid skin cancer include skin changes and lesions.
Multiple surgeons work together to remove cancerous tumors in the eyelids, such as an oculoplastic surgeon, ophthalmologist, radiation oncologist and dermatologist. Mohs surgery is the preferred option for the disease, which removes and examines the tissues under a microscope. If there are residual cancerous cells, additional slivers of skin are removed until there’s no trace left. The procedure has a 98% cure rate and preserves more eyelid skin than other methods, including biopsy and cryosurgery. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be used in conjunction with surgery for eyelid skin cancer.
Why Choose St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute?
Choosing a cosmetic surgeon with extensive experience in eyelid surgery can help reduce the risk of complications and increase the chances of a positive outcome. While there are a fair number of experienced cosmetic surgeons in the Tampa Bay area, very few of them have either the detailed knowledge of the structures around the eye or the expertise to perform cosmetic eye surgeries with exacting precision. But, at St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute, Dr. John Michaelos is one such surgeon. One of the most respected eye surgery specialists in Largo, Dr. Michaelos has helped numerous patients look better and restore their normal field of vision. To learn how he can help you, contact St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute today.