Surgery on the upper and lower eyelids is one of the more common cosmetic surgical procedures performed today. Eyelid surgery is often turned to when the skin surrounding the eyes begins sagging. Often, reconstructive surgery is necessary to restore complete functionality of the eyelid, which results in cosmetic benefits as well.
Lower eyelid surgery is most often done to fix sagging skin, which occurs due to aging or genetics. The procedure consists of removing skin, fat or muscle; whatever is causing the sagging and leaving an unattractive appearance.
The surgical procedure that is undertaken for upper eyelid issues is similar to lower eyelid surgery; the skin, fat and muscles are removed. Lower eyelids are often surgically enhanced for cosmetic reasons while upper eyelid surgery is not only a cosmetic procedure; it is also done for health reasons. While sagging skin below the eye does not impede vision, sagging skin on the upper eyelid does. If the sagging top eyelid skin is impeding one’s vision, health insurance may cover part or all of the procedure.
Reconstructive eyelid surgery is necessary when the eyelid or eyelids are not working properly. Reconstructive surgery is often the course of action when a patient has suffered eye trauma or has a tumor in the region that has to be removed. Although the surgery is being done for health reasons, there may be some aesthetic benefits as well.
Eyelid surgery, regardless of whether it is being done for cosmetic or reconstructive reasons, starts with the patient being subjected to general anesthesia. To minimize scarring the surgeon will make incisions along existing fold lines in the skin. Excess tissue is removed or repositioned and the incision is closed. Depending on the specifics of the surgery, it can last anywhere from one to three hours. After the eyelid surgery is completed the patient will have swelling and bruising which might last upwards of a month when the patient’s normal appearance begins to return.