Eyelids need to be as healthy as the eyes. Droopy eyelids (ptosis), excess eyelid skin (dermatochalasis), or eyelids that curl inward (entropion) or outward (ectropion) are common problems that can cause eye discomfort and limit vision. Eyelid plastic surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia.
Ptosis (pronounced "toe-sis") is upper eyelid drooping. It is apparent at birth (congenital) or develops with age (involutional). Ptosis may limit the field of vision and produce an uneven appearance. Surgery corrects the problem by shortening the muscle that opens the eyelid.
Dermatochalasis is excess eyelid skin that may develop over time. As it is the thinnest skin of the body, it is more likely to stretch and limit the field of vision. In the lower eyelid, "bags" form. Surgical removal of the excess skin may improve peripheral vision, reduce eye fatigue, and improve appearance. Removal or treatment of bags under the eyes is not a covered service under major insurance policies. Removal of excess skin on the upper eyelids may be considered a covered service if visual impairment is demonstrated preoperatively. If you would like to have testing to determine whether your vision is being affected by excess eyelid skin (testing is covered by most insurance plans) please call our office and set up an eyelid evaluation with Dr. Zudans or Dr. Todd.
To see some before and after photos from a dermatochalasis repair, click here.
Ectropion (outward turning of the lower eyelid) occurs with the stretching of the lower eyelid skin with age. Eyelid burns or skin disease may also cause this problem. Ectropion can cause dryness of the eyes, excessive tearing, redness and sensitivity to light and wind. Surgery may restore the normal position of the eyelid, improving these symptoms.
Entropion (inward turning of the lower eyelid) also occurs most commonly as the result of aging. Infection and scarring inside the eyelid are other causes of entropion. When the eyelid turns inward, the eyelashes and skin rub against the eye, making it red, irritated and sensitive to light and wind. If not treated, an eye ulcer may form. Surgery can turn the eyelid outward to its normal position.