Droopy Eyelids (Ptosis)
Ptosis, or droopy eyelids, occurs when the eyelid muscles cannot raise the eyelid properly, resulting in a limited field of vision and sleepy looking eyes. People with droopy eyelids often adopt habits to allow clearer sight, such as raising their eyelids with their hand, or raising their chin, or wrinkling their eyebrows and foreheads to raise their eyelids.
Ptosis can be corrected by shortening the levator muscle in the eyelid or by connecting it to the muscles of the brow, thereby restoring the eyelid to its normal position. Ptosis is considered a medical condition, and oculoplastic correction is covered by most insurance plans. There are a number of oculoplastic procedures that can be performed to repair droopy eyelids.
Blepharoplasty is an oculoplastic eyelid lift that repairs drooping eyelids by removing excess skin, muscle and fat. As we age, our eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them become weaker. This process causes sagging of the eyebrows, drooping of the upper eyelids and bags under the eyes which can affect our youthful appearance and our functional vision. When your vision is being impaired by excess skin or weaker eyelid muscles, a blepharoplasty may be the ideal surgical option.
Blepharoplasty is performed in our Ambulatory Surgery Center under local anesthetic. The procedure takes about an hour, and small sutures are used, which remain in place for a few days afterwards. If deemed medically necessary, Blepharoplasty is covered under most insurance.
An eyebrow lift helps to reduce deep wrinkles, lines and furrows in the forehead while raising heavy, drooping eyelids that create a hooded effect over the eyes.
During an eyebrow lift procedure, several small incisions are made along the upper part of the forehead near the hairline. These incisions allow us to have gentle access to the deeper tissue below the skin. Through the incisions, dense muscle tissue is removed from between your eyebrows and forehead, smoothing the appearance of the area. The skin is also lifted slightly to smooth wrinkles and raise the eyebrows.
Like blepharoplasty, an eyebrow lift is covered by most insurance plans if deemed medically necessary.
Ectropion and Entropion Eyelid Repair
The primary function of the eyelid is to protect the eyeball and keep it lubricated by clearing away any particles or irritants that may be affecting your eye. A variety of conditions, including aging, eye injuries, infections, scarring, and other body growths can affect the shape and function of your eyelid.
Occasionally, a patient’s eyelid and eyelash may turn slightly inward (entropion) our outward (ectropion) from its natural shape. This change in shape does not allow the eyelid to protect the eyeball, so a procedure may be necessary to repair the shape and curve of your eyelid.
When your eyelid turns inward (entropion), your lashes and skin can rub against the cornea and other parts of your eye, causing itching and irritation. You may experience crusting around your eyelid, excessive tearing, impaired vision, eye infections, and other symptoms that make you uncomfortable. It’s important to repair an entropion lid before permanent damage is done to your eye. Southern Eye Center offers a number of advanced surgical techniques to repair an entropion eyelid.
On the other hand, an outward-curved (ectropion) eyelid may expose the cornea and other parts of the eye to outside particles and foreign objects. An ectropion eyelid is also not able to properly spread and maintain the tear film across the eye, and tear drainage may be interrupted. You may experience inflammation and dry eyes that make you uncomfortable. Southern Eye Center offers a number of proven procedures to help repair ectropion eyelids, including a procedure to reposition the eyelid on the eye and using skin grafts to repair damage to the eyelid that may be causing the outward curving.
Both entropion and ectropion eyelids can be frustrating to deal with, but the specialists at Southern Eye Center can help you understand your surgical options and repair your eyelid for clearer and more comfortable vision.
Eyelid damage and defects can happen to anyone, and can be caused by eye injury or trauma, burns, or various natural growths on or around the eyelid. Eyelid reconstruction is an advanced procedure that should only be performed by an oculoplastics specialist. The goal of eyelid reconstruction is to use the natural structures of the eye to rebuild the eyelid and improve overall eye function. Based on the nature of your eyelid injury or damage, your Southern Eye Center surgeon will explain your options and give you a recommendation for the best way forward. Our goal is to offer you the best possible repair and reconstruction of your eyelid.
Blocked Tear Duct Treatment
Patients who are experiencing a blocked tear duct may require a tear duct procedure to improve the overall function of their eye. When you have a blocked tear duct, your eye can’t properly drain tears which can leave your eyes watery and irritated.
The most common forms of tear duct procedures work by opening the blocked passageway for tears to drain out of your nose, as they do naturally in an unblocked eye. During the procedure, your surgeon will use a small incision or an endoscopic instrument to insert a small stent into your drainage system. This stent will help your eye drain properly. Eyedrops and nasal decongestants may be prescribed to aid in healing and avoid infection.
Orbital Fracture Repair
Orbital fractures are injuries or breaks to the orbital bones surrounding the eye. To check for an orbital fracture, your surgeon will examine your eye and orbital bones around the eye using x-rays, CT scans, and other technology in order to look for any fractures.
In addition to looking for damage, your surgeon will check to see if your injury is affecting the movement or function of your eye.
In most cases, small orbital fractures do not need to be surgically treated. These smaller fractures can be managed with ice pack treatments and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and allow the fracture to heal naturally. People managing orbital fractures in this way should avoid blowing their nose while they heal to ensure no further damage is done to the eye or orbital area.
For more severe orbital fractures, a procedure may be necessary to repair the orbital bone and protect the eye from any damage. Symptoms of more severe damage include an injury that doesn’t allow the eye to move naturally, double vision, or an injury that has repositioned the eye inside the orbital socket. In these cases, a trained oculoplastics surgeon will recommend if a procedure is necessary to repair the orbital fracture.
Lesions, tumors, cysts, and skin tags near and around your eye can impair your vision and may need to be surgically removed to improve your vision. Many types of benign lesions and growths on the eyelid are common, and while some may not affect your vision, others can easily block or impair your vision during certain activities. Occasionally, a growth may need to be removed in order to avoid possible future problems.
Eyelid growths such as styes and chalazions are actually clogged tear glands that can grow on both the upper and lower eyelids. They can become infected and inflamed and make your vision blurry and uncomfortable. These growths often need to be treated before they will resolve.
Fluid-filled cysts can also grow on the white part of your eye. These cysts can result from injury, trauma, or a prior procedure. Elevated cysts on the eyeball can become irritated when you open or close your eyelid, and a procedure may be necessary to remove these cysts.
Various types of skin tags on the eyelid and around the eye often won’t cause health problems, but they can be uncomfortable when they rub against clothing or glasses and they can occasionally impair peripheral vision. Many skin tags can be removed through a simple procedure when your oculoplastic specialist numbs the treatment area and gently removes the skin tag.