Eyelid Surgery: Your Questions Answered
Eyelid surgery (also known as blepharoplasty) can truly provide a complete makeover to the eyes, helping them look more awake and refreshed. Anyone, regardless of their age, can see eye bags or droopy eyelids. These common concerns appear due to genetics or when there’s a loss of fat and volume support around the brows and cheeks. Below, Dr. Mulholland answers a few questions related to their upper and lower eyelids. See if you’ve got similar concerns or questions in mind—hopefully these answers can help you decide on the next steps you’d like to take.
Does OHIP cover lower lid blepharoplasty?
A lower lid blepharoplasty is generally performed to reduce lower lid eye fat pads also known as bags, reduce wrinkles or improve the angulation of the corner of the eye of the lower lid compared to the coloured portion of the pupil. In general, OHIP does not cover a lower lid blepharoplasty. OHIP will cover a lower lid that is mal-positioned from trauma or infection or has a skin tumor or lower lid abnormality other than cosmetic.
Cosmetic lower lid blepharoplasty is a private paid procedure and prices range in Toronto from $3,000.00 to $5,000.00 depending on the operative surgeon. Quite incidentally it may be interesting to note that nearly 50% of patients finance their cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. They may seek financing at reasonable rates for a simple low monthly payment over 5 years often for results such as a rhinoplasty or a blepharoplasty that may last for many years if not a lifetime.
My right eyelid droops further than the other which is fairly unattractive. Is upper blepharoplasty the correct procedure to correct this? Would just one eyelid need correcting or do doctors typically do both?
Thank you for your question and photograph. From the photograph the left eyelid fold anatomy and eyelash to pupil relationship appear normal.
On the right side, however, you have a lid droop also called upper lid ptosis. Ptosis can be hereditary or acquired and results in an ability of the elevator muscle to elevate the lid fully. In general, a unilateral ptosis repair would be indicated and this needs to be performed conservatively to create more symmetry between the right and the left upper lid and decrease the encroachment of the lid on the pupil, which gives the appearance of a narrowing of the right eye. A ptosis repair needs to be performed by a specialized plastic surgeon that focuses on eyelid surgery.
I have excess skin above my eyelids, I am 18 years old and this makes me very insecure. It causes my eyes to appear droopy and hooded. What is an appropriate solution to do at my age?
Thank you for your question and photographs. At the age of 18 it is difficult to manage one’s self-image let alone complicate it with cosmetic surgery. But, nevertheless you do have some modest degree of excess upper lid skin on the left side and on the right side. Your right eye appears somewhat ptotic, that is droopy. There are several non-surgical treatments you could try such as Botox Injections to get some brow lift effect to help raise the brows.
You need to be careful with the use of Botox Injectables as your right brow may be necessary to open your lid if you have some degree of upper eyelid opening muscle weakness and a thorough assessment by a trained Botox injection specialist such as a plastic surgeon or dermatologist may be warranted. Other techniques such as bulk heating radio frequency treatments using the Forma or the Venus Freeze or Exilis may provide some tightening and lifting without any risk or surgical intervention.
Over time and as you may mature, you may consider upper lid blepharoplasty with a right upper lid ptosis repair to open your eyes somewhat and remove some of the excess upper lid skin. Generally, performing cosmetic surgery in adolescence is not practiced often in the province of Ontario, but as you are now 18 and an adult you can start to consider some of these surgical options and see some local doctors with expertise in eyelid surgery.
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