Putting Plastic To Use
Oculoplastic surgery represents a multitude of procedures that focus on the health of areas around the eye. Commonly targeted regions include the eyelids, brows, and tear duct passageways. Depending on the circumstance, these surgeries can be either medically beneficial or cosmetic.
The draw for cosmetic
The eye is a major focal point when people look at each other and can reflect a sense of premature aging. Cosmetic eye surgery is often used to create a more youthful appearance for individuals. This occurs by brightening a tired expression, removing bagginess under the eyes, or clearing away excess skin. Eyelid surgeries are among the most popular cosmetic enhancement, coming in fourth overall in 2018.
Prep makes perfect
The surgeon will first assess the patient’s needs when planning an eyelid procedure. Discussing cosmetic goals with the doctor will help the physician develop the best surgical approach. Eyelid procedures are almost always performed in an outpatient setting with anesthesia. A single trip to the operating room can address issues with the upper, lower, or both eyelids at the same time.
A blepharoplasty is the most common eyelid surgery currently performed. The procedure targets excess skin and fat around the eyes that typically appear with age. Along the upper eyelid, a doctor removes or repositions fat pads while trimming away extra skin that causes wrinkles. A similar approach can take place to the lower eyelid, tightening skin to eliminate crow’s feet along the sides of the eye. In both instances, the surgeon works to hide incisions in natural creases to avoid overt scarring.
Eyelid ptosis is the medical term for droopy eyelids. In most cases, ptosis results from a weakening of eyelid muscles due to age. Ptosis repair surgery involves lifting the upper eyelids directly to give the face a more vibrant expression. The ophthalmologist is typically able to perform ptosis repairs internally, so no incisions appear on the eyelid.
While droopy eyelids are sometimes the issue, the eyebrow can also be the reason for a tired appearance. Also known as a forehead lift, the procedure increases eyebrow height to a more youthful position or adjusts imbalances. A physician can also improve frown lines between the brows and clean up horizontal wrinkle lines on the forehead. Incisions are usually disguised along the hairline or in the eyebrows.
Is that for me?
Individuals with fatty deposits or wrinkles around the eyes may be good candidates for a cosmetic ocular procedure. Because anesthesia is involved, an individual undergoing such a procedure must be in good general health. Those with increased risk of bleeding or infection must take special considerations if allowed to have cosmetic surgery. While there are no specific limitations, cosmetic eye surgeries are typically performed on patients between 40 and 60 years old.
You should see the other guy
After a cosmetic eye surgery, individuals will require rest for at least a few days. The area will remain swollen during the healing process. Keeping ice or cold compresses on the site can reduce recovery time. Sleeping with multiple pillows under the head can prevent blood from pooling. Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities for a least two weeks. Until given the okay, don’t get the surgical area wet or apply makeup or creams to the face.
Cosmetic procedures are rarely covered by medical insurance. However, the doctor can perform tests in the office to see how severely a droopy eyelid affects vision. Insurance companies can cover at least a portion of the bill if certain conditions are met.