Category: Eyelid Surgery

Will Eyelid Surgery Affect Dry Eyes?

As the often quoted saying goes, “the eyes are the windows to the soul.” Though it may now be a cliché, this saying couldn’t be further from the truth.

Our eyes expose many of our emotions and reveal plenty of information about us to the outside world. Whether we are stressed, tired, fearful, sad, or exhilarated, our eyes clearly demonstrate our emotions.

For some, the eyes can be sources of significant discomfort. Sufferers of the medical condition “dry eyes” can’t produce enough tears to properly lubricate and sustain the eyes, leading to redness, itching, and irritation.

The delicate nature of the thin skin that surrounds our eyes means they are also particularly susceptible to the aging process. Indeed, the eyes are often the first areas of concern for people beginning to show signs of aging. Initially, fine lines and wrinkles emerge (commonly referred to as crow’s feet), followed by puffy sacs under the eyes and droopy upper eyelids.

Eyelid surgery, technically referred to as blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery that addresses these common signs of aging. Blepharoplasty’s rejuvenating nature has a significant impact on the entire face; however, the procedure may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those suffering from dry eyes.

Here, Dr. George H. Landis discusses precisely what is involved in eyelid surgery and why patients suffering from dry eyes may require alternative treatments.

What is Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid surgery is a plastic surgery procedure performed on an outpatient basis.

The procedure can be used to address most aspects of eye-aging:

  • Eliminates puffy bags under the eyelids
  • Removes excess skin in the upper eyelid, causing a droopy appearance to the eye
  • Tightens the skin surrounding the eyes, restoring a youthful countenance to the upper face

The procedure is often performed under local anesthesia. However, this does depend on the extent of the surgery being carried out.

During a blepharoplasty, Dr. Landis will excise excess skin. He can also remove excess fat, or introduce fat cells via fat transfer to add volume and fullness to sagging eyes.

Patients generally require anywhere between seven to ten days to return to normal activities following the surgery, and after fourteen to eighteen days, the eyes should be nearly fully healed.

During recovery from surgery, patients often experience lower tear production and lower blink rates. Both of these factors contribute towards temporary dry eyes, and in patients suffering from chronic dry eyes, eyelid surgery can make the condition worse.

What Are Dry Eyes?

Medically referred to as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, dry eyes occur when either not enough tears are produced to lubricate the eyes properly, or the tears produced evaporate too quickly.

It is a common medical condition in the U.S., with over 3 million cases treated every year. The condition can be temporary or chronic, with different causes requiring different treatments.

Generally affecting older adults, particularly women heading towards menopause, dry eyes are a treatable condition.

What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?

Patients suffering from dry eyes either don’t produce enough tears, or the tears produced don’t perform their lubricating function properly.

  • Not enough tears. Produced by a number of glands in and around the eyelids, tears protect our eyes. These glands tend to produce fewer tears as we age, as a result of medication, medical conditions, or environmental factors. Hormonal changes also reduce tear production, which is why menopausal women frequently experience dry eyes. Dry, windy environmental conditions also increase dry eyes, as tears evaporate at a faster rate in such circumstances.
  • Poor tear quality. Tears have three components: oil, water, and mucus. Each element of the tear serves a different purpose. Oil in tears prevents evaporation of the water, which is responsible for moisturizing and lubricating the surface of the eyeball or cornea. The mucus in tears ensures the solution is spread evenly over the entire cornea surface. When these components of tears do not all function properly, the tears may evaporate too quickly or not spread evenly, thus resulting in dry eye syndrome.

What Can Be Done to Cure Dry Eyes?

For some, dry eye is a chronic condition. Fortunately, there are treatments available to keep comfort levels normal and to ensure vision does not become impaired.

These include over-the-counter eye drops that act as artificial tears, which supplement or encourage tear production to keep the eyes moist and lubricated.

Other cases are treated by blocking the tear ducts, which prevents tears from being drained from the eyes, thus conserving the tears that are produced.

Taking general health supplements, particularly omega-3 fatty acid supplements, can encourage healthy tear production and combat chronic dry eyes.

Patients struggling with dry eyes can also reduce its severity by taking personal care measures in their daily routines. Mainly, hydrating well with eight to ten glasses of water per day, and wearing wraparound sunglasses outdoors will reduce the impact of wind and sun.

How Does Eyelid Surgery Affect the Eyes?

Immediately following a blepharoplasty, patients generally experience some degree of swelling and bruising. This is typical of any surgery, as swelling is the body’s natural response to trauma to the skin and tissue.

This inflammation around the eyes can interfere with the production and drainage of tears from and around the eyeball, which can lead to either weeping eyes or dry eyes.

In some cases, patients may experience temporary dry eyes as a side-effect from blepharoplasty during the healing process.

One common side effect with eyelid surgery is a lower “blink rate,” which can lead to dry eyes during the recovery period and can exacerbate the condition in people who already suffer from dry eyes.

Lowered Blink Rate

Blinking is an essential biological function. When we blink, our eyelids lubricate our eyeballs with tears. This keeps the eyes moist, removes foreign bodies from the eyes such as dust and small particles, and protects the eyes against the air, wind, and other microbes.

When healing from eyelid surgery, patients may find themselves blinking less, meaning the eyes do not receive as much lubrication as they usually would. For most patients, this is a temporary side effect from the surgery and is remedied with eye drops.

Lower Tear Production

When the tissue surrounding the eyelids are inflamed post-blepharoplasty surgery, the function of the tear glands and ducts responsible for generating tears may become compromised, resulting in fewer tears being produced. Temporary fixes include eyedrops during healing from blepharoplasty, but patients suffering from chronic dry eyes may risk unnecessary further damage to tear ducts.

With this in mind, Dr. Landis recommends that patients experiencing dry eyes strongly consider the potential side-effects associated with blepharoplasty before undergoing the procedure. In some cases, depending on what your optometrist and Dr. Landis recommend, patients may be able to handle dry eyes with medication. However, other patients will be better off looking for alternative solutions to the sigs of aging that emerge around the eyes.

What Are the Alternatives for Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid surgery is an invasive surgical procedure.

While it is highly beneficial to some patients and can provide exceptional results, as we have seen, the procedure is not suitable for everyone.

For those patients suffering from chronic dry eyes, non-surgical intervention is perhaps a better option for countering the sands of time.

In cases such as these, two of the best non-surgical, minimally invasive options available are Botox and dermal fillers.

Botox

Botox is an effective treatment to frown lines, crows’ feet, and other signs of aging surrounding the eyes. It is semi-temporary, with effects that last between three to six months. Treatment sessions can be as short as fifteen minutes with minimal amounts of downtime associated with the treatment.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers provide volume and plumpness to sunken areas around the eyes. Like Botox, the results are not permanent. However, the short treatment times and rapid recovery rates make these treatments ideal for patients concerned about dry eyes being worsened by blepharoplasty.

Eyelid surgery in Plymouth, MN

Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can offer profound anti-aging results to the right candidates. In addition to blepharoplasty surgery, there are other fantastic treatment options available. For expert advice and guidance in restoring a youthful appearance to your upper face, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. George Landis’s team at 952 562 5940 or to fill out his online form today and arrange your personal consultation.

When Is An Eyelid Lift Medically Necessary?

Blepharoplasty (frequently referred to as an eyelid lift) is a popular procedure to resolve drooping upper or lower eyelids. While the procedure is designed to restore a youthful appearance, there are also potential medical benefits to improve vision and eye function.  

The problem of drooping upper eyelids may occur for several different reasons, which may require different treatments. The most common issues are the downward displacement of the eyelid margin (blepharoptosis) and excess eyelid skin (dermatochalasis).

Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from the lower or upper eyelids. A common question board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Landis, hears regularly: when is eyelid surgery medically necessary?

Medical Reasons for Upper Eyelids Drooping

The most critical factor in determining the medical necessity of blepharoplasty is what the patient is experiencing. Typically, the patient will know their eyelids are causing problems with vision when they are prevented from doing activities like driving and reading or experiencing headaches or eye strain.

In addition to these lifestyle issues, there are objective findings that your surgeon will discover through physical exam and studies,  like visual field testing, photographs, and eyelid measurements. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, indicators for medical need for an eyelid lift include:

  • The patient notices functional impairment
  • The distance between the center of the pupil and the edge of the eyelid (margin reflex distance) is less than 2mm
  • Superior visual field loss 
  • Impaired reading or other near-sighted activities
  • Eye discomfort or strain
  • Chin-up head tilt
  • Optical interference because of hooded upper eyelids

Keep in mind – these are not rules but suggested guidelines. The determination for a functional diagnosis for surgery is necessary for the patient’s insurance coverage. Each health care company has its own guidelines, which may be different than these indicators. A consultation with Dr. Landis can help you to determine whether you may qualify for medical blepharoplasty.

Cosmetic Improvement

Blepharoplasty not only corrects eyelids from drooping over your eyes and impairing your vision but has the added benefit of making you look more alert and younger. One of the problems with aging eyelids is that when they become hooded, puffy, and hide your eyes, they can give you the appearance of being tired and worn. After an eyelid lift, patients are excited to look younger and more focused. It can affect not only their appearance but how others see them at home and on the job.

When Should You See a Doctor?

If you feel your upper eyelids are causing significant cosmetic issues or functional problems, you may be a suitable candidate for blepharoplasty. Come in for a professional assessment to explore your options.

Start the Process

If you are struggling with impaired vision because your upper eyelids droop down over your eyes and you would like to know more about your options to correct the problem and improve your lifestyle, Dr. Landis can help. He along with his dedicated team of health care professionals help patients in the Minneapolis area get the care they deserve. 

Contact us today or call (952) 562-5940 to schedule a consultation

Eyelid Surgery Minneapolis

The Eyelid Surgery, or Blepharoplasty, is performed to rejuvenate the appearance of the upper and/or lower eyelids. Common aesthetic complaints men and women have as they get older include: bags or puffiness under the eyes, skin sagging or wrinkles in the upper eyelid (in some cases they may be severed enough to impair vision), lines and creases. These common signs of aging that occur around the eyes can leave us feeling like we look constantly run-down and not at our most vibrant, and confident best. Ideal candidates for the Eyelid Surgery are in good mental and physical health, non-smokers, with realistic expectations for the procedure and its potential results.

If you are interested in seeing what results are possible through this procedure, we encourage you take a look through our online before and after eyelid surgery photo gallery. The Eyelid Surgery is performed through an incision in the natural crease of the eyelid. Next, excess fat, muscle and skin is removed and the remaining skin closed to create a natural looking rejuvenation. If you are interested in learning more about this procedure and to find out if you may be a good eyelid surgery candidate, contact our office to schedule your consultation with Dr. Landis today.

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