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Functional Eyelid Surgery

At Bennett & Bloom Eye Center in Louisville, KY, we specialize in functional eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty. This procedure addresses drooping upper eyelids caused by dermatochalasis or ptosis that impair the field of vision.1 Our experienced oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Anne Rowland, ensures that each eyelid surgery is performed with precision and expertise, focusing on delivering results that are not only natural-looking but also enhance your vision and overall eye health.

What is Functional Eyelid Surgery?

Functional eyelid surgery is a procedure designed to correct medical issues related to the eyelids. It can address drooping or sagging eyelids that may impair vision, as well as remove excess skin and fat contributing to difficulty reading or driving, or cause skin irritation.2 The surgery enhances peripheral vision obstructed due to the eyelid conditions and also improves the aesthetic appearance of the eyes.

Benefits of Eyelid Surgery

  • Improves peripheral vision by correcting drooping eyelids
  • Reduces bags and puffiness for a more alert appearance
  • Enhances the overall appearance of the eyes
  • Addresses medical issues such as impaired vision due to eyelid conditions
  • Offers long-lasting results, although the aging process may affect them over time

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Candidates For Eyelid Surgery

Ideal candidates for functional eyelid surgery include those in good overall health with realistic expectations, experiencing:

  • Vision impairment due to sagging eyelids
  • Excess skin or fat in the eyelid area
  • Medical necessity to enhance eye function and health

It’s important to note that individuals with certain eye conditions or systemic health issues may need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to ensure safety and suitability for the procedure.

Preparing For Eyelid Surgery

Our team at Bennett & Bloom Eye Centers will guide you through the preparatory steps for eyelid surgery. This includes a comprehensive consultation to understand your specific needs and the creation of a personalized treatment plan. You may be advised to adjust medication intake and lifestyle habits, like smoking or alcohol consumption, to optimize outcomes and recovery.

The Upper Lid Blepharoplasty Procedure

Our oculoplastic surgeon performs blepharoplasty with the utmost care, using techniques that minimize discomfort and maximize results. This outpatient procedure is typically performed under sedation with local anesthetic and involves precise incisions and removal or repositioning of excess eyelid skin and tissue, as well as excess fat on the upper eyelids. It can also be performed under general anesthesia, depending on the extent of the surgery. 

Recovery After Eyelid Surgery

Recovery varies, with some swelling and bruising expected. We provide detailed post-operative care instructions as well as follow-up visits to ensure a smooth healing process. Most patients can resume normal activities within a few weeks.

Functional Blepharoplasty Results

Following functional upper eyelid surgery, patients typically experience a significant improvement in their field of vision due to the removal of excess skin in the upper lids, along with a reduction in eyelid heaviness and fatigue.3 This procedure not only enhances vision but also contributes to a more alert and rejuvenated appearance. Additionally, it can alleviate skin irritation caused by excess folds and facilitate easier makeup application. The results are generally long-lasting with minimal scarring, as incisions are strategically placed within the natural eyelid creases. While initial improvements are noticeable soon after surgery, final results typically become fully apparent within a few months.

Schedule A Consultation For Functional Blepharoplasty

Contact Bennett & Bloom Eye Centers in Louisville, Kentucky, to discover how functional eyelid surgery can improve your vision and enhance your appearance.

FAQs About Functional Eyelid Surgery

Is functional eyelid surgery covered by insurance? 

This surgery is covered by insurance if enough superior peripheral vision is blocked on visual field testing (functional blepharoplasty). If the excess skin is not blocking enough of the superior side vision, surgery can still be performed but it would be considered a cosmetic procedure (cosmetic blepharoplasty).

How is functional eyelid surgery different from cosmetic eyelid surgery?

While both types of surgery may involve modifying the eyelids, functional eyelid surgery is performed for medical reasons—to alleviate symptoms affecting vision or eye health. When performed as a cosmetic surgery on the other hand, blepharoplasty is performed as a facial rejuvenation procedure to improve the appearance of the eyelids.

What are the risks of functional eyelid surgery? 

As with any surgery, there are risks associated with the functional eyelid lift, including infection, reaction to anesthesia, and bleeding. Specific risks related to eyelid surgery include dry eyes, temporary blurred vision, and the need for further surgery.

How long do the results of functional eyelid surgery last? 

The results of this plastic surgery procedure are generally long-lasting. However, natural aging and other factors may affect the longevity of the results.

Can functional eyelid surgery improve peripheral vision?

Yes, in cases where droopy eyelids obstruct peripheral vision, this surgery can remove the obstruction, significantly improving peripheral vision.

Will I have scars after functional eyelid surgery? 

Incisions and sutures are typically placed along the natural creases of the eyelids, making scars well hidden. Most scars from functional eyelid surgery are minimal and become less noticeable over time.

Is functional eyelid surgery painful? 

Patients usually experience minimal pain during the procedure due to anesthesia. Postoperative discomfort is generally mild and can be managed with prescribed pain medications.

Can I combine a functional eyelid lift with any other procedures? 

Yes, patients often combine functional eyelid surgery with other procedures. Often, when addressing issues with dermatochalasis or ptosis of the upper lids, the patient also wishes to address concerns related to the lower eyelids, such as drooping or puffiness. If that is the case, your plastic surgeon may suggest combining functional upper eyelid surgery with lower eyelid surgery, also known as lower blepharoplasty. This comprehensive approach ensures a harmonious and youthful appearance.

Additionally, if you are dealing with excessive drooping in the upper eyelid and brow area, a brow lift might be recommended. This surgical procedure elevates the brows and reduces the hooded look that often accompanies aging upper eyelids.

For a more complete rejuvenation, non-surgical treatments like Botox and fillers can also be considered. Botox helps in smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines, particularly in the upper face, while fillers can restore volume and reduce the appearance of dark circles or hollows under the eyes.
It’s essential to discuss your goals and concerns with a qualified oculoplastic  surgeon. They can advise you on the best combination of procedures to achieve a balanced and rejuvenated look, taking into consideration the unique anatomy of your lower and upper eyelids.

1 JAMA. Upper Blepharoplasty. Available: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2729372. Accessed November 30, 2023.

2 StatPearls. Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537078/. Accessed November 30, 2023.

3 Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery. Functional outcomes of upper eyelid blepharoplasty: A systematic review. Available: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30528286/. Accessed November 30, 2023.