Aging & Your Eyes: Is Eyelid Surgery Right For You?

The upper eyelids become “heavy” and “droopy” over time, due to the aging process. There are three basic factors that each, separately, contribute to these changes.  The first is that the muscle or tendon (levator) that lifts the upper eyelids loosens and that causes the upper eyelids to lower.

This is called Ptosis. The process can be asymmetric.  If this is mild, then it is only an aesthetic issue.  If severe enough, it can block the vision and cause fatigue/headache from constant compensation by the brow/forehead being lifted.  The treatment for this is EYELID PTOSIS SURGERY.

The second process is that the skin on top of the eyelids looses elasticity and stretches.  This is called upper eyelid DERMATOCHALASIS. This has nothing to do with the position of the upper eyelids relative to the eyes, which is related to factor one discussed above.  The treatment for this is UPPER BLEPHAROPLASTY.

The third factor that contributes to upper eyelid “heaviness” or “droopiness” is descent of the brows/forehead (BROW PTOSIS). If severe enough, the brow can encroach on the upper eyelid space and contribute to increased skin in the upper eyelids.  The treatment for this is BROW LIFT.

A patient may have one, two, or all three of these factors and each would require its own specific surgery. However, they can all be combined in one surgery, usually under local anesthesia with or without sedation.  The recovery for each or all of them combined is also the same, namely about 7-10 days of having a “black eye”.

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