Are you considering having Eyelid surgery?
Any obstruction of vision can be dangerous and can impact your quality of life. As the saying goes, “Your eyes are the window to your soul,” and certainly eyes are your window to the world. If that is true, then your eyelids and eyebrow are the curtains to your eyes. Just like a window shade, there is an interconnected relationship between your forehead, eyebrow, and eyelid as they serve to shade and protect your eyes.
Men and women alike can have eyelid or brow issues that affect their vision. Often people will compensate for heavy lids and eyebrows by subconsciously holding their forehead up. That causes deep forehead lines and leave you with a sense of being tired at the end of the day. Many people have a combination of issues that need to be addressed to get the desired improvement in their peripheral vision. It is important that your surgical plan matches your specific needs. Some people have heavy brows and need a brow lift. Others have extra skin hanging onto their lashes obscuring vision. A person can also have a loose tendon in their upper lid resulting in a “sleepy” eyelid look. Correction of these issues may involve any combination of blepharoplasty (eyelid tuck), brow lift or upper lid lift. In all these situations, the goal is to restore function (peripheral vision) by doing the appropriate surgery. Usually that restoration of function comes with a bonus of improvement in appearance, so that you look more rested, happy, and alert.
The big question is “Does insurance pay?”
This depends on your insurance. Some insurance companies will only pay for one procedure even if you would benefit from a combination of procedures. Most insurances will cover either removal of the extra skin or the lift of your lash line, but not both. Some insurance companies will not cover any kind of brow lift. In these cases, there would be a reasonable fee charged for the noncovered portion. If you would like insurance to cover any of your surgery, you will need to have an eye exam, including visual fields taped and untaped. This exam can be done by your ophthalmologist or optometrist. If you “fail” the test (meaning you have lost a significant amount of your peripheral vision), we will submit the results to your insurance along with the request for preauthorization. We highly suggest that you contact your insurance company to see if they cover eyelid or brow surgeries when deemed medically necessary.
What is the surgery like?
Eyelid surgery is outpatient surgery. Most people feel comfortable going to social activities in 5-10 days. Cool masks are used to shorten the recovery time and most people need only Tylenol for pain. It can take up to 6-12 weeks for all healing to be complete. Many times, people choose to have cosmetic lower lid bags and fat pads dealt with at the same time as their insurance surgery. Some opt to do a total rejuvenation by having a cosmetic midface or full facelift at the same time. This allows for one recovery and gives an overall more refreshed look.
In conclusion, your vision is essential to your well-being. If you think that your vision is affected, ask that your next eye exam include a visual field test to see if you could benefit from eyelid surgery. If you meet insurance criteria, then make an appointment with a plastic surgeon to determine which surgery is best for you. Remember that your “windows” may need new, uplifted curtains so that you can see and look better!