Blepharoplasty, also known as an eye lift, is a type of eyelid surgery performed in order to get rid of or tighten drooping or excess skin on the upper eyelid or lower eyelid. It can also be done to remove fat or muscle that causes eyelids to sag or obstruct a person’s vision. It differs from ptosis surgery, which involves tightening a stretched tendon or muscle.
Cosmetic blepharoplasty is only done for the sake of making a person’s eyes look more youthful. This type of surgery is not done for any medical reasons. It is often performed on people as they age and develop loose or droopy skin on their eyelids. This occurs because their skin becomes more stretched, and the muscles around their eyes begin to lose strength. They might also have pockets of fat that become more noticeable as their skin stretches out. This sagging can cause people to look fatigued or older than they really are.
Functional blepharoplasty is always done to correct a medical reason for impaired or obstructed vision. Although it might also improve a person’s appearance, it is not done for cosmetic purposes. The most common reason for having this type of eyelid surgery done is to get rid of skin on the upper eyelid that sags and partially blocks a person’s vision, which causes difficulty performing daily visual tasks, such as driving.
A few other reasons for having functional blepharoplasty done include:
discomfort or trouble wearing corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses or contacts
skin irritation due to baggy eyelid folds
sore muscles in the forehead caused by frequent efforts to raise droopy or loose eyelid skin
Eyelid Surgery for Ptosis
An upper eyelid that droops is known as ptosis. This condition can occur on only one eyelid or both. Ptosis usually develops with age as the tendon that normally lifts the eyelid becomes stretched, which causes the lid to droop and interfere with a person’s ability to see. It can also occur at birth, following eye surgery or after stroke or trauma. Surgery is done to fix the tendon.
Ophthalmologists and oculoplastic surgeons usually perform ptosis surgery. Cosmetic and functional blepharoplasty are usually performed by an ophthalmologist or a specialized type of ophthalmologist known as an oculoplastic surgeon. Other types of surgeons, including plastic surgeons, oral surgeons and ear, nose and throat surgeons also do cosmetic and functional blepharoplasty.: